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.
Across the country, expensive and limited child care options are causing parents to interrupt their jobs and make other financial sacrifices.
Continued inaction from Congress on work-family policies, including the current lack of access to affordable child care and comprehensive paid family and medical leave, costs workers $31.9 billion in lost wages annually.
Working mothers are important drivers of three essential industries—elementary and secondary education, hospitals, and food services—yet cannot afford child care for their own children.
Policymakers must invest in strengthening the direct care workforce in order to improve the quality of care delivered to patients and to achieve better value for every dollar spent on long-term services and supports.
More mothers would increase their earnings and seek new job opportunities if they had greater access to reliable and affordable child 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.