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

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a campaign event in San Antonio, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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.

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