Biden supported the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, which mandated that companies with more than 50 employees offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave to workers. Biden has since said he believes the government should mandate 12 weeks of paid family leave.
Biden's website states that he wants to "work with states to offer pre-K for all three- and four-year-olds." He doesn't specify that it would be free for all families, but has said in previous interviews that he supports a free pre-K program all children are eligible for.
Biden has not released a child-care plan but has called for free pre-K and has previously supported increasing and expanding the Child Tax Credit.
Biden said he would double funding for home-visit programs for vulnerable families through the Affordable Care Act. New parents would be coached on children's development and health, breastfeeding, and maternal health. They would receive information on community and public resources for jobs and childcare. Biden has also pledged to launch a national program based on California’s successful public-private partnership for reducing maternal mortality. He plans to double public funding for community health centers providing prenatal care. And he plans on giving funds to states and communities to place early childhood development experts in community health centers and pediatricians' offices in poor communities, to help parents understand their child's development and refer them to services if needed.
Sanders has said that as president, he would guarantee US workers 6 months of paid family leave. As Senator, he co-sponsored the Family Act, which would grant up to 12 weeks of paid leave.
Under Sanders’ “Free Childcare and Pre-K For All” plan, every child would be guaranteed “free full-day, full-week, high-quality child care from infancy through age three, regardless of income.” The care would be available “at least 10 hours a day” and “operate at times to serve parents who work non-traditional hours.” The child-care program would be “funded by the federal government and administered by state agencies and tribal governments in cooperation and in collaboration with public school districts, and other relevant agencies and organizations.” There would be national standards, including “minimum wages for workers and mandated low child-to-adult ratios and small group sizes for delivery of services."
Sanders co-sponsored the Maternal CARE Act. It funds programs to train healthcare professionals in obstetrics and gynecology on bias, and home-visiting programs that support mothers on Medicaid. Sanders said he would expand the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and double the funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.
Warren supports 12 weeks of paid family leave, during which workers would make 66% of their salary. The benefit is capped at $4,000 per month, and guarantees a minimum of $580 per month. In the Senate, she co-sponsored the Family Act. As president, she said she will require federal contractors to extend benefits, including paid family leave, to all employees.
Warren has committed to offering full pre-K tuition support to low-income families and limited to cost no more than 7% of family income for everyone else.
Under Warren’s “Universal Child Care and Early Learning” program, the government would “partner with local providers to create a network of child-care options that would be available to every family.” They would have to follow national standards. Child-care and pre-school workers would be paid at the same level as public-school teachers. These services would be free to families making less than 200% of the federal poverty line and limited to 7% of income for everyone else.
Warren said she supports existing Congressional efforts, like the Maternal CARE Act, to expand Medicaid to pregnant for women up to one year after giving birth, “address the structural racism that puts Black women and their babies at risk,” and create a “Black Maternal Health Caucus.” She also has a plan to reward hospitals with money when they improve health outcomes for new black mothers and penalize hospitals with high rates of preventable failures in care.
Bloomberg plans to guarantee free pre-K for low-income families and affordable pre-K for everyone else.
Bloomberg proposed increasing the Child Tax Credit—which helps low-income families who have children under age 3 pay for childcare—making it fully refundable and phasing it in faster. He has also said that he would expand the number of children served by Head Start and Early Head Start.
Bloomberg has proposed giving more funding to the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program; incentivizing providers to work in areas with racial disparities in maternal mortality; increasing funding to diversify the maternal healthcare workforce; funding implicit bias training; and centralizing data collection on maternal health at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “to inform and improve standards of health care.”
Klobuchar pledged to incentivize employers to adopt paid family leave and make it easier for federal contractors to win government work if they offer paid family leave to their employees. She co-sponsored the Family Act in the Senate.
Klobuchar supports the Child Care for Working Families Act, which expands the existing Child Care and Development Block Grant program to fund more childcare programs. The goal is to offer access to all children younger-than school age. Under this plan, childcare expenses would be limited to “7% of income for families making less than 150% of their state’s median income through a new federal-state partnership.”
Klobuchar co-sponsored the Maternal CARE Act, which funds bias training among healthcare professionals in obstetrics and gynecology and home-visiting programs that support mothers on Medicaid. She also co-sponsored the Healthy MOM Act, which extended Medicaid coverage for pregnant women. She pledged that, in her first 100 days as president, she would “implement a new law that tackles the shortage of maternity care health professionals” in poor areas and “develop best models of care to address racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality.”