White House directs cabinet-level departments to improve access to affordable care

 April 20, 2023

On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden will sign an executive order with the goal of reducing the price of services for senior care and child care.

The order will issue over 50 directions to virtually every cabinet-level department in an effort to improve access to affordable care, according to a report by The Daily Caller.

According to a statement released by the White House, the purpose of the executive order is to reduce the expenses incurred by families that participate in the Child Care and Development Block Grant program, as well as to increase the availability of child care services for the children of federal employees and military families.

In his budget, the president requested that Congress provide financing of $600 billion for early childhood education and child care. In the interim, the president has taken action by issuing executive orders.

The Order

Biden's directive will be financed by established committees and is a far cry from The American Families Plan he proposed in May 2021, which intended to establish free universal pre-school for all children aged 3 and 4.

Biden’s order also “directs the Office of Personnel Management to conduct a review of child care subsidy policy and consider setting standards for when and how federal agencies should provide child care subsidies to federal employees,” the statement read, and will instruct the Department of Health and Human Services to “take steps” to increase the pay of Head Start teachers and staff.

“President Biden believes that we must secure significant new federal investments to transform care in this country. That’s why he and Vice President Harris called for investments to support high-quality, affordable child care, preschool, and long-term care in their fiscal year 2024 budget.

"While Congress considers those proposals, the President is taking immediate action to make care more affordable for American families, support family caregivers, boost compensation and improve job quality for care workers, and expand care options,” the White House said.

More Comments on The Move

“The president’s not going to wait to take action to address our nation’s care crisis,” Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Susan Rice said, Reuters reported.

“High-quality care is costly to deliver. It’s labor-intensive. It requires skilled workers. Yet care workers, who are disproportionately women and women of color and immigrants, are among the lowest paid in the country,” she added, according to The Associated Press.

Ai-jen Poo, the president of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Jenn Stowe, the executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, referred to the order as "a major step toward modernizing" the U.S. care system.

The pair issued a joint statement saying "As the care workforce crisis intensifies across the country and families continue to struggle to afford care, this set of executive actions marks the all-in commitment we need to make sure care jobs are good jobs and that Americans can access care for generations to come."

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