The Alliance for Early Success recently released the Build Stronger Child Care Policy Roadmap, a comprehensive strategy to rebuild the nation’s child care system developed in collaboration with state and national early childhood advocates and experts. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed significant vulnerabilities in the child care sector, challenging us to consider not only how to address the immediate needs it has generated, but also how changes in funding and delivery can build a stronger system and, by extension, economy.
There is a risk, however, that as the economy contracts and state government revenues shrink, policymakers will adopt an austerity mindset and delay any additional investment in the child care system. With child care now at the forefront of our national conversation about economic recovery, the Roadmap offers a path forward at the state and federal levels, suggesting both immediate actions to address the impacts of the pandemic, as well as more ambitious steps to address deeper-seated issues.
The Roadmap begins by highlighting the need for a more equitable system, and then expands into four specific policy goals with equity and quality as foundational values:
- Increase access and affordability for all families;
- Advance the early care and education profession;
- Reform child care financing and fund child care as a public good; and
- Build a better child care business model.
Further, within each of these goals, the Roadmap identifies specific areas in need of reform and provides policy recommendations for each. The Roadmap concludes by noting that while there are common areas of work, the path states take will differ, and more input is needed from local stakeholders to ensure any reforms align with the needs of families and educators.
Download the full report and related resources here.