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Cohen on Warren’s statements about child care

One survey is not enough to make a social truth

Jon Greenberg writing for Politifact reports on the Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s child care and early learning plan, accounting that affordable child care is beneficial for families and for the economy. Warren alleged that the high costs of accessing child care today are shaping the most personal of family decisions; having fewer children than expected because of the costs that this represent. Warren’s statements are based upon a New York Times / Morning Consult poll that reached 1,858 men and women from ages 20 to 45 who responded, “They had or expected to have fewer children than they considered ideal.” Of this sample, 64% respondents said the reason they would have fewer children is based on child care costs.

However, such statements have been criticized because one survey is not enough to make a social truth, Greenberg noted. Faculty Associate Philip Cohen defined Warren’s statement as "reasonable" and noted that, overall, women are waiting longer to have children. In addition, Cohen pointed out that there are plenty of factors playing a role in this trend; economic uncertainty, the rising cost of raising children, career demands and family leave policies are all important. "But I don't have any research to prioritize or rank those things specifically," he concluded.

See the complete Politifact article