President Biden’s American Families Plan, which he touted in his speech Wednesday evening to Congress, would invest large sums of money in care for kids under 5: $200 billion for free preschool and $225 billion on childcare subsidies and higher wages for childcare workers. If implemented, it could dramatically change the financial circumstances of many American families, particularly those with lower incomes. As the White House fact sheet says, it would “enable those who dropped out of the workforce [to care for their young children] … to rejoin and stay in the workforce.”
But that’s not what most lower-income and working-class Americans want, poll results from this past January show. They overwhelmingly prefer to have one parent work fulltime and one provide childcare at home. Both parents working fulltime and using paid childcare was the least popular choice for lower-income respondents (those with “less than a 4-year degree and household income below $30,000”) and second to last for the working class (“less than a 4-year degree and household income $30,000–$70,000”). The middle class has mixed opinions, and only the upper class (“household income above $150,000”) favors having both parents in the workforce.