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Elizabeth Warren releases child-care cost calculator to promote universal child-care plan

Elizabeth Warren. Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press/Associated Press

Senator Elizabeth Warren is releasing a new cost calculator to promote her universal child-care plan. The new tool on her website is an attempt to cast her nationwide child-care policy in highly personal terms and builds off a similar tool released earlier this year that allowed users to calculate how much they would save under her student debt plan.

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate announced the new calculator during an appearance Thursday on “The View.”

Warren has proposed making child care free for families earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line. Under her plan, those making more would pay on a sliding scale topping out at 7 percent of a family’s income.


Warren told “The View” hosts Thursday that she wanted to take on child care so that “it’s not just there for the richest slice of the top, but it’s there for all of our kids.”

“It’s the best investment in our future,” she added.

Warren’s cost calculator asks questions about how many young children the user has (with a “maybe someday” option for those still thinking about it), the user’s current child care costs, and household size and income. The calculator then determines whether the user would receive free child care under Warren’s plan, and if not, estimates how much the family would save.

As an example, a family with two young children that spends $25,000 of its $100,000 annual household income on child care would save about $22,000 annually under Warren’s plan, according to the calculator.

Warren’s campaign said its college debt calculator, which allows visitors to calculate how much of their student loans would be canceled under her higher education proposals, has been used by 250,000 people.

As she campaigns for president with a series of detailed policy proposals, Warren has also talked often of the struggles her family faced growing up in Oklahoma. She’s also spoken of the trouble she had securing child care early in her career.


“At the end of my rope, I called my 78-year-old Aunt Bee in Oklahoma and broke down, telling her between tears that I couldn’t make it work and had to quit my job. Then Aunt Bee said 11 words that changed my life forever: ‘I can’t get there tomorrow, but I can come on Thursday,’ ” Warren said at the time she announced her child care proposal.

“Finding affordable and high-quality child care has gotten even harder since my children were growing up  —  and not everyone is lucky enough to have an Aunt Bee of their own.”

Christina Prignano can be reached at