Director, Early Childhood Policy
Half of all Americans live in neighborhoods classified as child care deserts with little to no access to child care. We promote bold policy solutions to the child care crisis that will expand access and affordability, bringing an inclusive and racially equitable vision to life.
Child care is an investment in economic infrastructure, and lack of public investment negatively affects parent workforce participation, family economic security, and the U.S. economy. We need to establish comprehensive solutions that invest in all families.
Family-friendly policy solutions should respect the inherent values and rights of parents, infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and the early education field. We promote progressive policies that support the well-being of our youngest children and high-quality early learning in all communities.
CAP works in partnership with allied early childhood advocates across the country to expand access to quality, affordable child care and early learning opportunities. StateOfChildCare.org and the Grassroots Movement for Child Care and Early Education are two collaborative initiatives that bring together the expertise of allies in early learning.
This project supports decision-makers in understanding how the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) affects low-income families and early educators.
Coordinated by the ECE Organizing Network, this initiative organizes a national network of grassroots allies fighting to expand access to early learning.
Grassroots Movement for Child Care
The Center for American Progress’ Early Childhood Policy team is committed to creating and advancing progressive policies centered on bold, family-friendly solutions that equitably support all children, families, and early educators. Key components of the team’s work include building actionable, inclusive, and racially equitable policies that serve all families regardless of income, geographic location, ability, gender, or race; believing in and supporting the inherent value and rights of young children (infants, toddlers, and preschoolers); valuing the early childhood teaching profession by providing livable wages and additional workforce supports; and building new systems with equitable investments in families.
To meet the caregiving needs of the K-12 educator workforce and the developmental needs of the youngest students, the United States needs sustained, significant federal investments in the accessibility and affordability of high-quality child care.
Comprehensive, sustained investments in child care can create historic opportunities to transform the system by building supply, expanding affordability, and supporting the workforce.
Congress must act now to resolve the nation’s infant and specialty formula crisis by addressing supplies, cost, and accessibility and then take steps to prevent future shortages.
Building the infrastructure for a robust child care system would have wide positive reverberations for the nation’s businesses and broader economic recovery and growth.
Targeted, long-term investments would help the many families in rural America who desperately need child care.
Hailey Gibbs and Maureen Coffey make the economic case for a comprehensive federal child care package.
States received an influx of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to stabilize their child care industries. Key policy strategies that center equity ensure that these funds reach the people who need them most.
The American Rescue Plan provided much-needed funding to protect the child care sector from collapse, but long-term investments are critical to achieve lasting infrastructural change.
Major child care investments pay for themselves through a range of benefits, including improved child and family health, bolstered educational outcomes, and economic recovery.
Jesse O'Connell, the new senior vice president for Education at the Center for American Progress, talks about the opportunities this moment offers to improve early childhood, K-12, and higher education in the United States.