The Coronavirus pandemic has opened voters’ eyes to the importance of child care for families—and the economy. Now voters are ready for sweeping federal action.
The results of a new national poll from the First Five Years Fund reveal the clear impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on voters’ views of America’s child care system—and the need for a significant public investment in meaningful child care policy solutions for working families and providers. No longer can lawmakers and candidates for office view child care as a “nice-to-have” service, when voters now clearly see it as something that is essential for children, families, and America’s economy.
Regardless of party, voters overwhelmingly say high-quality, affordable child care for families with young children is an essential service—just like healthcare and education.
A majority of voters—particularly
women—say the COVID crisis has shown us how essential it is that we build a child care system that makes care available and affordable to all families who need it.
Across party lines, a strong majority of voters believe child care is at least very important to get the economy going again.
Most voters continue to believe that federal funding for quality early education from birth to age five—including child care and preschool—should be increased.
A possible federal proposal receives strong support.
Congress would provide funding to states to expand their existing child care programs, so that every working parent who wants to do so could affordably send their child to the high-quality child care, early learning or pre-kindergarten program of their choice.
“The care and education of children is publicly funded starting in kindergarten. It should be the same for younger children as well.”
83% of voters in key electoral battleground states say that candidates for office, including for president, should have plans and policies to help working parents afford high-quality child care.