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Biden Signs Executive Order to Expand Access to Child Care and Long-Term Care

Joe Biden ( Photo: CNN )

President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at bolstering the “care economy” on Tuesday.


Joe Biden ( Photo: CNN )

The aim is to expand access to long-term care and child care across nearly every Cabinet-level agency

Over 50 directives have been issued to expand and guarantee access to affordable child care for families, including military families, according to The White House. The President’s order directs federal agencies to identify which of their grant programs can support child care and long-term care for individuals working on federal projects, and consider requiring applicants seeking federal job-creating funds to expand access to care for their workers.

It also directs the Department of Defense to improve the affordability of child care on military installations.

The executive order aims to improve working conditions for early educators, long-term care workers, and childcare workers. The Department of Labor will publish a sample employment agreement “so domestic childcare and long-term care workers and their employers can ensure both parties better understand their rights and responsibilities.”

The Department of Health and Human Services will increase pay and benefits for Head Start employees

Issue regulations to ensure Medicaid funding for long-term and home care workers caring for Medicaid enrollees, and test a new dementia care model that would include support for respite care under Medicare.

Domestic Policy Adviser Susan Rice called the move “historic” during a call with reporters previewing the executive order. Rice also highlighted the poor working conditions of care workers, who are disproportionately women and women of color and immigrants and are among the lowest paid in the country, despite working in some of the most important and complex, and demanding jobs.

At the same time, the cost of care represents an outside share of a family’s budget, with childcare prices up 26% in just the last decade and long-term care costs up nearly 40%.

However, any additional funding for long-term care and childcare programs would face steep headwinds in a divided Congress, according to an administration official. The President included “a robust, holistic care agenda” in his proposed budget, but it faces challenges as long as Republicans control the US House of Representatives.

READ ALSO: Gov. Brian Kemp Slams Donald Trump Over Election Fraud Claims

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