A Democratic Plan for Childcare and College

When/If Democrats offer their version of the “Contract With America,” I’d like to see some of this plan in it. I think the only thing I would modify is the healthcare part, namely, providing the healthcare for free if economically feasible.

Howard? Harry? Nancy? Rahm?

Oh yeah, it’s from the feared DLC.  (cue scary music!)

Time for Parenting

Time to Spend with Newborns. States should promote innovative ways to ensure moms are able to spend quality time with their newborns by implementing a paid family and medical leave system or offering a Family Leave Tax Credit.

Time to Care for a Sick Child or Attend School Activities. States should allow all employees to use personal sick leave to care for a sick child or attend routine medical appointments, and require employers to grant leave for parents to attend school conferences or activities of the employee’s child.

Protecting Kids

Background Checks for Those Who Care For Kids or the Elderly. States should require state criminal history checks, state child abuse registry checks, and FBI background checks on all owners, employees, and volunteers at day care centers and nursing home facilities.

Child Care Quality Rating System. State and local governments should institute an online quality rating system for every child-care facility licensed by the state. Such a system would encourage and recognize quality child-care providers, giving them additional recognition based on a three or five-star system, and should include incentives to improve care.

Crack Downs on Sex Offenders, Particularly Those Who Prey on Children. States should increase sentences to put more sex offenders behind bars, increase registration and reporting requirements for those not in jail, and track the most serious offenders using technology such as GPS monitoring.

Online Access to Information on Keeping Kids Safe. States and localities should provide parents with online access to information and tools to keep their kids safe from inappropriate material on television and the Internet and in music and video games to empower parents to decide what is appropriate for their children. (Note: This is not a call to censor material, but rather to make parents aware of the material and content)

Online Safety Instruction. States should establish Internet safety curriculum in every school to ensure that children understand the dangers that exist in cyberspace.

Health Coverage for All Kids. States should do everything in their power to ensure that every child has access to private health insurance with affordable, comprehensive coverage.

Creating Opportunity for Kids

Cradle to College Accounts. States should create accounts for every child born in their state that is endowed with an initial investment and redeemable at age 18 to pay for their college education.

Universal Pre-K. State and local leaders should enact universal or targeted preschool programs that ensure all children have an opportunity to attend high-quality, academically oriented preschools that serve all children and include a strong school readiness curriculum, taught by teachers with early childhood education and training.

Quality After-School Programs. States and localities should provide safe and educationally constructive alternatives for kids during the after-school hours.

Student PC’s. States and localities could ensure that every student has the opportunity to have a computer and Internet access by using their bulk purchasing power to offer all families with kids in schools the opportunity to buy a computer and services at a reduced rate — all without increasing government spending.

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