The Biden White House acknowledged America’s declining birthrate but proposed an ill-suited solution aligning with its ideological leanings: subsidized day care and more mothers working outside the home. Despite a 16-year trend of decreasing births, with the birthrate now at a record low of 1.62 children per woman, the administration’s focus on increasing labor force participation among mothers of young children misses the mark.

The White House’s emphasis on universal day care overlooks the real issue of declining labor force participation among middle-aged individuals. As noted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the overall decline in female labor force participation since 2019 stems from women aged 55 and older, not mothers of young children.

Women already make up 49.9% of the American workforce. The notion of a significant child care shortage is overstated, with more people working in the child care sector than ever before. The Center for American Progress’s concept of “child care deserts” often includes thriving areas with stay-at-home mothers and strong community support.

Contrary to the administration’s view, many American mothers prefer staying home over using day care. Vox reports that there is no crisis of mothers leaving the workforce, with record numbers of moms of young children holding jobs. The Biden team’s frustration with lower labor force participation among mothers of young children reflects a misunderstanding of many families’ desires.

The White House’s Council of Economic Advisers believes that increasing labor force participation and productivity can offset the impact of an aging population. However, focusing on mothers of young children ignores the more pressing issue: middle-aged workers leaving the labor force. As Washington Examiner opinion writer Tiana Lowe Doescher points out, middle-aged people’s declining participation is the real problem.

In essence, mothers in America don’t want day care as much as the Biden White House wishes they did. The administration’s view that labor-force participation rates among mothers of young children should match those of older children and women overall misses the reality that many mothers prefer to stay home. The Biden team’s approach fails to address the actual needs and desires of American families.