A bold investment in the care economy would help aging Americans and people with disabilities live at home affordably and create hundreds of thousands of good-paying home care jobs, addressing the industry’s severe job shortage.
Together, the policies included in the Biden administration’s Build Back Better agenda would propel families’ and the country’s economic security by prioritizing child care, the child tax credit, paid family and medical leave, and good jobs that get Americans back to work.
The United States urgently needs a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program that will boost the health and economic well-being of American workers and families.
The collapse of the child care sector and drastic reductions in school supervision hours as a result of COVID-19 could drive millions of mothers out of the paid workforce. Inaction could cost billions, undermine family economic security, and set gender equity back a generation.
Policymakers must consider lessons learned from the emergency paid leave laws passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic in order to design national, permanent paid leave policies that ensure racial, gender, and economic equity and meet the needs of families.
Less than one-fourth of infants and toddlers across a sample including 19 states and Washington, D.C., could be served by the existing licensed child care supply. The coronavirus crisis is likely to make that worse.
The 21st anniversary of the Olmstead v. L.C. Supreme Court decision, which is occurring in the midst of a pandemic, is the perfect time to discuss the importance of home and community-based care.
Across the country, expensive and limited child care options are causing parents to interrupt their jobs and make other financial sacrifices.
Continued inaction from Congress on work-family policies, including the current lack of access to affordable child care and comprehensive paid family and medical leave, costs workers $31.9 billion in lost wages annually.
Working mothers are important drivers of three essential industries—elementary and secondary education, hospitals, and food services—yet cannot afford child care for their own children.
Policymakers must invest in strengthening the direct care workforce in order to improve the quality of care delivered to patients and to achieve better value for every dollar spent on long-term services and supports.
More mothers would increase their earnings and seek new job opportunities if they had greater access to reliable and affordable child care.