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.
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.
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.
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.
The Build Back Better Act ensures child care assistance for 16 times as many young children as under current law, and in some states, it would help state child care agencies reach more than 25 times as many children and their families.
Despite claims to the contrary, the Build Back Better Act envisions an important role for faith-based child care providers.
Proposed investments in the Build Back Better agenda would benefit a significant number of workers, particularly women and women of color; transform the home care and early childhood sectors; and lift living standards and employment prospects for millions of Americans.
The Build Back Better Act would ease a significant burden on middle-class families’ finances, lowering their child care costs by more than $100 per week in most states.
Experts urge congressional leadership to make long-overdue investments in child care and early learning.
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.