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. 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.


The U.S. Child Care Crisis Explained Video

The U.S. Child Care Crisis Explained

The lack of affordable and high-quality child care has disproportionately pushed women out of the workforce for decades. It is long past time for the United States to provide adequate, sustained funding and end the child care crisis.

Erin Robinson, Darya Nicol, Jasmine Hardy, 1 More Hai-Lam Phan

Tell Congress: It’s Past Time to #SaveChildCare Video

Tell Congress: It’s Past Time to #SaveChildCare

Congress must pass a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package that includes at least $50 billion to save the child care industry for families and providers.

N’Namdi Washington, Darya Nicol

Invest in Child Care: Something Has To Change Video

Invest in Child Care: Something Has To Change

Congress must fund child care to help early educators ensure that future generations have the foundation they need to build a healthy, successful life.

Andrew Satter, Jessica Schuman, Brooke Butler

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