Lily Barbour, 5, holds up a campaign sign for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during a campaign event in Austin, Texas, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Sanders would use wealth tax for universal child care, pre-K

February 24, 2020 - 3:06 am

WASHINGTON (AP) —

Bernie Sanders has joined fellow progressive Elizabeth Warren in proposing that a “wealth tax” can fiance government-funded child care from infancy through age 3 for every American family, then provide universal pre-kindergarten programs after that.

Fresh off his win in Nevada, the Vermont senator called the nation’s child care and early education “an international embarrassment” while unveiling a plan Monday that he said would fix it. His proposal would provide a minimum of 10 hours of daily child care, even for parents who work non-traditional schedules.

Sanders previously proposed an annual wealth tax starting at 1% on households worth $32 million or more and increasing to 8% on fortunes of at least $10 billion.

That’s more ambitious than Warren's signature wealth tax, which kicks in on fortunes worth $50-plus million and would also fund universal child care.

Warren, a Massachusetts senator, and other presidential hopefuls have similarly proposed universal child care and pre-kindergarten. Sanders says the federal government will impose quality standards for his pre-kindergarten program, including minimum child-to-adult ratios and minimum wages for workers.

AP Editorial Categories: