"I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential—schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college—even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity. "
President Obama was raised by a single parent and knows the difficulties that young people face when their fathers are absent. He is committed to responsible fatherhood, by supporting fathers who stand by their families and encouraging young men to work towards good jobs in promising career pathways. The President has also proposed an historic investment in providing home visits to low-income, first-time parents by trained professionals. The President and First Lady are also committed to ensuring that children have nutritious meals to eat at home and at school, so that they grow up healthy and strong.
Joining Forces is a national initiative by First Lady MIchelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden that mobilizes all sectors of society to give our service members and their families that opportunities and support they have earned.
Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.
Investing in Education
President Obama is committed to providing every child access to a complete and competitive education, from cradle through career. First, the President supports a seamless and comprehensive set of services and support for our youngest children, from birth through age 5. Next, President Obama will reform and invest in K-12 education so that America’s public schools deliver a 21st Century education that prepares all children for success in the new global workplace. Finally, President Obama is committed to ensuring that America will regain its lost ground and have the highest proportion of students graduating from college in the world by 2020.
Health Care Reform
The Affordable Care Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by the President in March 2010, puts in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that hold insurance companies accountable, lower health care costs, guarantee more choice, and enhance the quality of care for all Americans.
Supporting Working Families
President Obama is committed to creating jobs and economic opportunities for families across America. And he is restoring fairness to the tax code and increasing child care so that working families have the support they need. Ten days after taking office, the President established a White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families, led by Vice President Biden. The Task Force is focused on raising the living standards of middle-class, working families across America.
The President’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided needed support to families enduring difficult times.
- The Act protects health coverage for 7 million Americans who lose their jobs through a 65 percent COBRA subsidy to make coverage affordable.
- The Act also boosts family incomes by expanding the Child Tax Credit to cover an additional 10 million children in working families and creating a new Make Work Pay tax credit.
- To help working mothers and fathers obtain quality child care, the Act includes an additional $2 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, $1 billion for Head Start, and $1.1 billion for Early Head Start.
- To fight hunger, the Act includes a $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, as well as funding for food banks and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
- The Act increases the Weatherization Assistance Program by $5 billion to help low income families save on their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient.
- The Act increases job training funds for those who need them most, with $3.95 billion in additional funding for the Workforce Investment system, which will support green job training, summer jobs for young people, and other opportunities.
- The Act provides increased income support, including an increase of $25 per week for Unemployment Insurance recipients and incentives for states to expand unemployment insurance eligibility, as well as an extra $250 payment to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries and new resources for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
Promoting Work-family Balance
Millions of women and men face the challenge of trying to balance the demands of their jobs and the needs of their families. Too often, caring for a child or an aging parent puts a strain on a career or even leads to job loss. President Obama believes we need flexible work policies, such as paid sick leave, so that working women and men do not have to choose between their jobs and meeting the needs of their families.