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.

The Early Childhood Policy team is committed to advancing progressive policies with bold, family-friendly solutions that equitably support all children, families, and early educators.

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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

Increasing America’s Child Care Supply Report
Photo shows a woman seated in front of a crib, holding an infant in each arm.

Increasing America’s Child Care Supply

With additional funding, an existing federal subsidy program could forestall closures and supply losses in the child care sector until policymakers secure meaningful investments.

Hailey Gibbs

Still Underpaid and Unequal Report
A teacher surrounded by her students leads preschoolers in dance during a class at an early childhood center in Boulder, Colorado.

Still Underpaid and Unequal

New, comprehensive data on child care workers in center-based programs—analyzing their demographics, education, experience, and wages—reveal widening pay gaps and inequality.

Maureen Coffey

A Strong Start in Life: How Public Health Policies Affect the Well-Being of Pregnancies and Families Report
A mother kisses her child as her midwife examines her at a birthing center in South Los Angeles.

A Strong Start in Life: How Public Health Policies Affect the Well-Being of Pregnancies and Families

Understanding how the key social determinants of health—including housing, employment, and education—affect perinatal health is critical to ensuring that federal policies support healthy babies and families.

Why K-12 Teachers and Their Students Need Investments in Child Care Article
Teacher standing while helping student seated at desk

Why K-12 Teachers and Their Students Need Investments in Child Care

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.

Emily Katz

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