Finance

Majority of Democrats, Republicans Would Support Legislation to Ensure Paid Family Leave, Increased Child Care Funding

As Senate Democrats move on reconciliation bill sans child care, family leave provisions, nearly 3 in 4 U.S. adults say they support such policies

Protesters in support of paid family leave bill
Families, parents and caregivers rally on Capitol Hill for paid family and medical leave on Nov. 2, 2021, in Washington, D.C. A Morning Consult survey found that 74% of U.S. adults would support a law passed by Congress to ensure access to paid family and medical leave, including 85% of Democrats and 66% of Republicans. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

The provisions for paid family leave and child care funding in early iterations of Senate Democrats’ economic spending package were long gone by the time Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) unveiled their Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 last month. But such policies continue to have broad support among Americans across the political spectrum, a new Morning Consult survey found.

About 3 in 4 Adults Back Paid Family Leave, Increased Funding to Access Child Care, More Access to Subsidies
At least 4 in 5 Democrats and 3 in 5 Republicans support various family-friendly policies, though backing for a renewal of child tax credit is more tepid

Respondents were asked whether they support or oppose the following actions Congress could take:

Survey conducted July 15-16, 2022, among a representative sample of 4,415 adults, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-1 percentage point. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
Congressional action on financial support for families is supported regardless of party ID, income
  • President Joe Biden has called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 a “godsend” for families, but advocates for family-friendly policies were left somewhat empty-handed, prompting the launch of a new political action committee to push for paid family leave. Morning Consult found that such policies would be very popular among U.S. adults in both parties: 85% of Democrats and 66% of Republicans said they support congressional action on ensuring paid family leave.
  • With a tight job market driving up wages, and in turn, fueling inflation, access to child care could help seed the job market with more workers. The survey found that increased federal funding for child care is backed by 86% of Democrats and 61% of Republicans. 
  • The public also showed strong support for congressional measures to provide funding for child care regardless of their own ability to afford it: 76% of respondents who reported that their family found it “easy” to afford child care still said they support increased funding, compared with 81% of those who reported a “difficult” time paying for care. 
  • It isn’t just parents of younger children who support congressional action on family finances: 73% of respondents with no children under 18 said they support paid family leave, compared to 77% of parents with kids under 18. Congressional action to increase child care funding also has broad support from both parents with children under 18 (76%) and those with no children under 18 (72%).
  • Those without kids under 18 were slightly more at odds with parents when it comes to extending the Child Tax Credit, a plan that was also part of Democrats’ original spending package: while 75% of those who currently have children under 18 supported extending payments, only 54% of those with no children under 18 favored the measure. 

The July 15-16, 2022, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 4,415 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point.

Morning Consult