Access to quality child care and preschool is a game-changer that can impact the rest of a child’s life. High-quality early education drastically improves children’s early language, literacy, and math skills, and impacts long-term outcomes, including high school graduation, lifetime earnings, and the likelihood of crime, violence, and teen pregnancy. But for millions of working families in America today, high-quality child care and pre-k remain out of reach.
Child care costs more than median rent in every state, and it’s more expensive than the average annual tuition and fees for a public four-year university in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Access to pre-K is scarcely better—just over one-third of preschool-aged children are enrolled in public pre-k in the United States. The United States can and should do better.This article was originally published in Morning Consult.