At Deseret, I make the case against the child care benefit in the fine print of CHIPS, which would make child care a work-administered benefit at some semiconductor plants.
Making child care a work-linked benefit means repeating all the problems of the employer-linked insurance and retirement plans, and adding a more serious problem. Child care and early education are a flashpoint for political conflict. How we educate our children is an expression of our values and our world view. When an employer designs an on-site child care program or contracts with an existing provider, it means the HR department has to make a ruling about how children should be cared for. Choosing an educational philosophy requires more trust than an employee can reasonably place in their employer.
The employer child care mandate isn’t in the bill because Congress was confident that your boss should weigh in on who takes care of your children. It’s a quiet acknowledgment, in the middle of the ostensibly ambitious CHIPS Act, that legislators do not believe America can build real support for parents.