All children deserve to have nurturing, enriching early experiences that support healthy development. Families—across race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, and economic background—want their children to grow up to be happy and thriving adults. Child care is a critical tool for families in realizing their children’s full potential. With access to affordable, quality child care options, families can pursue employment and educational opportunities that contribute to family stability and financial security. Children benefit from participating in programs that support their development and learning, beginning at birth and continuing through elementary school in the after-school hours and summer months. Communities prosper because child care promotes economic growth, racial and economic equity, and child wellbeing. The United States has yet to realize the benefits of investing in child care for all children and families and lags behind most other industrialized countries in this regard. This report explains why our nation’s leaders must immediately prioritize solutions that make quality child care affordable and accessible to all families.
This report is released jointly by the American Federation of Teachers, the Center for American Progress, the Center for Law and Social Policy, Community Change, Every Child Matters, MomsRising, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Service Employees International Union.This article was originally published in Case for Child Care.