We asked 18 academics what they would choose if they could only choose one, as Senator Manchin would have advised.
The safety net spending bill proposed by Democrats in Congress includes major benefits for families: paid time off, child care, pre-kindergarten and family allowances. But as they negotiate the invoice amount, they may have to choose. Senator Joe Manchin, one of the two centrists that Democrats dowind persuaded to vote with them, suggested them to choose only one, Axios reported . In a letter to colleagues On Monday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote: “Much of the advice I get from members is from do less things well.
We asked 18 academics who study family policy - researchers in sociology, economics, public policy, social work and law - what they would choose if they could only have one, based on evidence from research in the US and other countries.
All said it was achoices they wouldn't want to make - supporters of more generous family policies say they all work together. "People need resources to coordinate family and employment across the lifespan," said Joanna Pepin, a sociologist at the University of Buffalo. "Just choosing a policy is akin to putting out a fire in a room in a burning house and stopping.
Democrats are considering other ways to spend less but keep all four programs, such as granting family allowances only to those in need. low income, offering less than 12 weeks of paid vacation or expiring policies after several years. But the exercise of choosing one requires a closer look beyond politics and the policies themselves - who would be helped by each program, and where there is most need.
The public preschool for children aged 3 and 4 was the winner of our panel, half of the experts having chosen him.
They said he was most likely to achieve multiple family policy goals. free childcare for toddlers could help reduce poverty and make family life easier. By allowing mothers to work , this could increase the Gender equality. Giving children from different backgrounds the same preparation for kindergarten may decrease inequalities in the long run.
"When my collaborators and I have explored different results - employment, wages, poverty - in a series of rich countries, the policy that has had the most powerful effect has been universal early childhood education, "said Joya Misra, sociologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Some states and cities, including Georgia, Oklahoma, New York, and Washington, DC, already offer it, and a majority of children in preschoolers participate.
Many other rich countries offer it, notably France, Germany and Spain, where Public school does start at 3 . In the United States, about a third of children enter kindergarten without a preschool, and theyare more likely to have single parents or to be from Hispanic or low-income families.
"Pre-K would improve academic performance and potential for economic mobility of future generations, "said Mohamad Alkadry, who heads the public policy department at the University of Connecticut.
Others said states and cities had already successfully started public kindergarten without federal help. Some feared an unexpected consequence : it costs more for child care centers in s 'care for infants and toddlers. earn enough from school fees to stay in business.
Reasons given for choosing kindergarten Image Pascall Jean-Jacques, pre-K teacher at the Sunnyside Community Program in Queens, and a student practicing counting. Among the family policies considered by Democrats, the Universal Pre-K was the most popular with pundits. Credit ... James Estrin / The Hfrance.fr
Child Tax Credit Extension - with checks for up to $ 300 per child now sent to almostutes American families - was the second most popular. Biden administration extended the childrens credit until the end of this year and included all families except the richest. Previously, parents who were not working or had very low incomes were excluded.
In July, three million 'fewer children lived in poverty, according to the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia. Research from other countries shows that cash transfers declineent child poverty, especially in places with high income inequality.
Monthly vouchers also allow parents to choose how to spend money. 'money. It can be used for rent, food, childcare or to subsidize a stay-at-home parent, for example. And, according to several researchers, this is the policy that states or employers are least likely to deliver on their own.
"Credit to “Child tax is elegant in that it is something for all low- and middle-income families,” said H. Luke Shaefer, professor of social justice and social policy at the University of Michigan. "If we are only going to do one, I think the best for most people is the correct principle to use in making that decision.
But others said they would prefer the moneygo straight to daycare or kindergarten because it would help mothers to work. "I am always very sensitive to policies that even unintentionally discourage mothers' participation in the workforce," said Barbara Risman, a sociologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "In the long run, these families will have fewer resources if mothers have lower income potential.
Reasons given for the choice of child credit
Three of the experts chose this as the most important. The planned plan would be make childcare free for the lowest incomes. And it would cost no more than 7% of income for others.es, up to a certain income.
"This would probably pull more women into the workforce, so the overall earnings for the family would be more that reducing child care costs, "said Jill Yavorsky, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
It would help also to bridge racial gaps, as black and Hispanic women have become disproportionately unemployed during pandemic , said Fatima Suarez, a sociologist at Stanford. "Childcare subsidies are not just a family issue, but a race, class and gender equality issue," she said.
Others have said that grants alone will not be enough. quiteto address other childcare issues , such as unavailability, low provider salaries and varying quality levels. And some preferred a universal benefit rather than a means-tested program - this would make the program more popular and improve quality , said- they, and child care are unaffordable for many middle class families.
Reasons given for choosing subsidized childcare
Paid family leave
The United States is the only wealthy country without a federal mandate to offer paid leave to newcomers parents or for medical emergencies. Democrats' plan would give American workers up to 12 weeks. Research has shown that this would particularly benefit people with the lowest incomes and those in precarious jobs, who are now at risk of falling into poverty if they need care or support. disease.
"Celhas provided a necessary safety net for low-income families as they go through major life events, "said Youngjoo Cha, a sociologist at the University of Indiana at Bloomington. “It has a strong implication for gender equality at work and at home. It will also generate a lasting effect of gender equality at home. "
She was the only expert who chose her as the most important. Others said they strongly supported it, but believed it could indeed be offered through payroll taxes, as several states do, or by employers. Also, they said, the other policies would help families for much longer periods of time.
Reason invoked to choose the family leave payment articlebody>