Director, Early Childhood Education Policy
The availability of care and care workers is integral to maximizing workforce participation and building a healthy, resilient economy. A continuum of care for children, sick loved ones, older adults, people with disabilities, and workers themselves is and always has been vital to sustain families, protect jobs, and drive economic growth. But the pandemic has revealed how decades of underinvestment in care—if not ignoring the need entirely—has hurt families and cost millions of women their jobs. In order to equitably rebuild from the pandemic, policymakers must learn from the past year and prioritize robust investments in care as essential infrastructure that makes all work possible. Without measures to fill caregiving gaps, people who have been harmed the most by the economic crisis will continue to pay the price. Policymakers must prioritize quality, affordable child care and early education; permanent, national paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave; home- and community-based services; and higher wages and improved benefits and protections for care workers and early educators.
To improve recruitment, training, and retention in the construction industry, states should utilize infrastructure funds to address workers’ child care needs.
Health care cost commissions can help states address rising health care costs while also advancing other health policy priorities.
With additional funding, an existing federal subsidy program could forestall closures and supply losses in the child care sector until policymakers secure meaningful investments.
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.
A bold investment in the care economy would help aging Americans and people with disabilities live at home affordably and create hundreds of thousands of good-paying home care jobs, addressing the industry’s severe job shortage.
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.
The United States urgently needs a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program that will boost the health and economic well-being of American workers and families.
The collapse of the child care sector and drastic reductions in school supervision hours as a result of COVID-19 could drive millions of mothers out of the paid workforce. Inaction could cost billions, undermine family economic security, and set gender equity back a generation.
Malkie Wall outlines how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need to strengthen protections for home care workers.
Policymakers must consider lessons learned from the emergency paid leave laws passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic in order to design national, permanent paid leave policies that ensure racial, gender, and economic equity and meet the needs of families.
Less than one-fourth of infants and toddlers across a sample including 19 states and Washington, D.C., could be served by the existing licensed child care supply. The coronavirus crisis is likely to make that worse.
The 21st anniversary of the Olmstead v. L.C. Supreme Court decision, which is occurring in the midst of a pandemic, is the perfect time to discuss the importance of home and community-based care.
We pursue climate action that meets the crisis’s urgency, creates good-quality jobs, benefits disadvantaged communities, and restores U.S. credibility on the global stage.
Democracy is under attack at home and abroad. We must act to ensure it is accessible to all, accountable, and can serve as a force of good.
Economic growth must be built on the foundation of a strong and secure middle class so that all Americans benefit from growth.
We apply a racial equity lens in developing and advancing policies that aim to root out entrenched systemic racism to ensure everyone has an opportunity to thrive.