Education

Early Childhood Policy

We are committed to advancing progressive policies with bold, family-friendly solutions that equitably support all children, families, and early educators.

A male teacher and a student playing with toys at a classroom table. (Getty/Maskot)

What We're Doing

Ensuring access to affordable early care and education

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.

Building family economic security through child care

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.

Promoting quality of early care and education

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.

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Partner Projects

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.

Featured work

About our team

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.

Latest

Early Learning in the United States: 2021 Fact Sheet

Early Learning in the United States: 2021

These state fact sheets provide data on access to affordable child care for families, compensation for child care providers, and economic benefits of increased public investment in early learning.

MK Falgout

Early Learning in the United States: 2019 Fact Sheet

Early Learning in the United States: 2019

These fact sheets outline the current state of early learning and opportunities for improvement in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Steven Jessen-Howard, Simon Workman

Early Learning in the United States: 2018 Fact Sheet
Preschoolers engage in a toy sharing learning exercise at an early childhood education program in Los Angeles, March 2013. (Getty/Los Angeles Times/Lawrence K. Ho)

Early Learning in the United States: 2018

These fact sheets explore the status of early childhood programs in each state and highlight the need to invest in programs that support child development, allow parents to work, and strengthen state economies.

Simon Workman, Steven Jessen-Howard

Head Start in Rural America Fact Sheet

Head Start in Rural America

These 10 state facts sheets provide comprehensive new information on the number of rural families served by Head Start, including rates of health service delivery.

Leila Schochet, Rasheed Malik

Fact Sheets: President Trump’s FY 2019 Budget Harms Nearly Every Community Across the Country Fact Sheet
Copies of President Donald Trump's fiscal year 2019 budget sit on a table at the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 12, 2018. (Getty/AFP/Saul Loeb)

Fact Sheets: President Trump’s FY 2019 Budget Harms Nearly Every Community Across the Country

Trump’s budget is an unmitigated disaster for everyday Americans—including women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, communities of color, and more.

Eliza Schultz, Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Rejane Frederick, 7 More Silva Mathema, Connor Maxwell, Heidi Schultheis, Anusha Ravi, Leila Schochet, Leonard Scott IV, Shabab Ahmed Mirza

Early Learning in the United States: 2017 Fact Sheet

Early Learning in the United States: 2017

By preparing children for school and enabling parents to work, high-quality child care and preschool are a necessity for children, families, and the economy. These fact sheets explore the status of early learning programs in states and the need for state investment in these programs.

Simon Workman, Jessica Troe

QRIS 101: Fact Sheet Fact Sheet

QRIS 101: Fact Sheet

Quality rating and improvement systems offer a promising framework to increase access to high-quality early learning for all children.

Simon Workman

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