Group Focused on Child Care Sets $40 Million Effort to Help Democrats


A liberal political organization that promotes economic policies for working families, the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, will spend $40 million backing President Biden’s re-election bid and other Democratic candidates for the House and Senate.

Announced on Monday morning, the program is the largest political investment by the Democratic-allied organization, which aims to assist Mr. Biden and to raise the profile of economic issues like the cost of child care and elder care in the 2024 campaign. While those remain top concerns for voters, they have yet to emerge as a central focus of Mr. Biden’s re-election efforts.

The group’s plans, shared first with The New York Times, call for mobilizing a broad swath of Democratic and independent voters in states that will be important to the presidential election and control of Congress: Georgia, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. Besides the president, the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy is planning to support Democratic candidates who back policies including paid family medical leave, lower-cost prescription drugs and affordable child care and elder care.

“You’re going to be hard pressed to find a kitchen table where people aren’t discussing the high cost of caregiving and especially, especially child care,” said Sondra Goldschein, executive director of the group’s political action committee. “People don’t know what Biden and the Democrats have done to help with things like child care, and so that’s where we come in.”

Early in his term, Mr. Biden’s administration pushed through $24 billion to help keep child-care facilities open, as part of a rescue package to combat the pandemic. Those funds expired in September.

Since then, Mr. Biden has fallen short of fulfilling initial pledges to make child care more affordable for families. Proposals that would have provided preschool for more than six million 3- and 4-year-olds, child care and health care subsidies and monthly payments for families with children failed to win support in Congress. Mr. Biden eventually abandoned those legislative plans in favor of bolstering infrastructure and environmental spending.

In April, Mr. Biden signed an executive order instructing federal agencies to find ways to make child care cheaper and more accessible, an effort to make progress on his stalled promise.

J. Glenn Hopkins, president of Hopkins House, a child-care provider in Virginia, said he lost more than half of his employees during the pandemic. He has struggled to hire qualified teachers and child-care providers.

“Where we are now postpandemic is, we are no better than where we were prepandemic,” said Mr. Hopkins, who supports the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. “We’re still hunting for quality folks.”

Ms. Goldschein believes her group’s efforts can help build political momentum to transform affordable child-care policies into reality, should Mr. Biden win re-election.

“We really think that the way to ensure that this gets over the finish line is electing that Democratic trifecta and doing so in a way that demonstrates that this is the issue that matters to voters,” she said. “We are laser-focused on building that political momentum.”

With the 2024 campaign beginning to shift gears to a likely rematch between Mr. Biden and former President Donald J. Trump, other liberal organizations have made a series of spending announcements. VoteVets, a group that supports veterans running for office, will spend $45 million to back Mr. Biden and other Democratic candidates. Future Forward, the main Democratic super PAC supporting Mr. Biden’s bid, has a $250 million ad blitz planned. Last month the liberal activist group MoveOn revealed its $32 million program.



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