The third part of his proposal shows a growing recognition that looking after children, the elderly and the sick is a critical part of the U.S. economy.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden rolled out the third part of his economic plan, “Build Back Better,” on Tuesday morning. 
The first plank focused on manufacturing jobs, the second on climate change. This time the former vice president’s focus is on caregiving, a sign of a growing recognition fueled by the coronavirus pandemic that caring for children, the sick, people with disabilities and the elderly is a core part of the U.S. economy and not a sideline women’s issue.
In a call with reporters Monday night, senior campaign staffers said that the Biden plan marks the first time a presidential candidate actually centered caregiving in an economic plan. Typically, presidential candidates like to focus on more “hardcore” economic issues like manufacturing or trade. 
But the pandemic has sparked a growing recognition that caregiving provides the framework for the U.S. economy to function. Without child care for children or someone to tend to the sick, people simply cannot go to work.  
“The paid and unpaid work of raising children, of educating children is often the invisible backdrop to what people think of as our regular economic activity in America,” Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO and co-founder of the advocacy group MomsRising, told HuffPost recently. “Now that we’re in a pandemic, we see that this work is at the core of our economy, our communities and our country.”
Biden’s plan would cost $775 billion over 10 years and would be funded, the campaign said, by rolling back tax breaks for real estate investors and increasing tax compliance on high-income earners.
Biden’s agenda looks at all kinds of caregiving, from cradle to grave. It beefs up funding for child care, expanding tax credits for parents, raising pay for child care workers and calling for universal pre-kindergarten. 
The plan would also increase funding for in-home care to keep the elderly and the disabled out of institutional care facilities.  
Later on Tuesday, Biden is expected to talk more about the plan called The Biden Plan for Mobilizing American Talent and Heart to Create a 21st Century Caregiving and Education Workforce.
In the call with reporters Monday night, Biden campaign staffers bristled when asked by one reporter if his caregiving plan would be mainly the responsibility of Biden’s vice presidential pick. Biden has promised to select a woman as a running mate. 
“This plan speaks to issues that families and people across the country are dealing with. Not just women,” the staffer said, emphasizing Biden’s experience as a single father after the death of his first wife and daughter in a car crash in 1972.
Though child care and caregiving in general are not women’s issues, it’s hard not to feel the influence of the women who were in the running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. 
Child care was a central policy proposal in Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign; and issues like family leave were key to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign. Hillary Clinton also put child care and family leave on her agenda as the 2016 Democratic nominee, although not as a core economic priority.
Long underfunded and undervalued, child care has gotten increased attention in the pandemic as so many working parents are struggling to care for (and homeschool) their children while struggling to remain employed. 
So far, however, that high profile has not translated into action at the policy level. Though there was some funding for child care in the March economic stimulus bill, a push for further funding has not gone anywhere. 
In a recent survey, 40% of child care providers said they would soon be out of business if they did not receive more assistance.