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

These Interconnected Policies Would Sustain Families, Support Women, and Grow the Economy Article
Long-term caregivers and supporters rally in Los Angeles on July 13, 2021, for greater federal and local investment in the country's caregiving infrastructure as Congress debates the president's significant investment in quality home care. (Getty/Frederic J. Brown/AFP)

These Interconnected Policies Would Sustain Families, Support Women, and Grow the Economy


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.

Arohi Pathak, Diana Boesch, Laura Dallas McSorley

State and Local Wins Illustrate National Demand for Early Learning Investments Article
Children race outside during a

State and Local Wins Illustrate National Demand for Early Learning Investments

Communities across the country have passed state and local ballot measures to increase public funding for early childhood services, demonstrating a path forward for federal action in 2021.

MK Falgout, Laura Dallas McSorley

5 Ways the Trump Administration’s Policies Have Harmed Children Article
A child wearing a mask rides a scooter down the street in New York City, July 2020. (Getty/Alexi Rosenfeld)

5 Ways the Trump Administration’s Policies Have Harmed Children

The policies of the past four years have been unequivocally damaging to young children, threatening programs that help to meet their basic needs.

Erin Robinson, Katie Hamm

As Election Nears, Millennial and Gen Z Voters Want Action on Child Care Article
A young child wearing a mask sits on his father's shoulder in Central Park, New York, on May 24, 2020. (Getty/Alexi Rosenfeld)

As Election Nears, Millennial and Gen Z Voters Want Action on Child Care

As the nation heads to the polls, it is important to understand that young voters are deeply affected by child care issues during the coronavirus pandemic and that they support child care relief funding and longer-term strategies to invest in child care.

Katie Hamm, John Halpin

State Responses To Address the Shortage of Infant and Toddler Child Care Article
A mother drops her 3-year-old son off at an emergency child care facility in Washington, D.C., April 15, 2020. (Getty/Astrid Riecken)

State Responses To Address the Shortage of Infant and Toddler Child Care

States and localities recognize the need for affordable, quality infant and toddler child care and have taken steps to create solutions that better serve their communities.

MK Falgout, Steven Jessen-Howard

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