All parents want what’s best for their kids. Yet too many families struggle to find and afford quality child care and early learning opportunities that allow them to work or attend school and support their children’s healthy development.
The Coronavirus pandemic has opened voters’ eyes to the essential role of child care for families and the economy. While overwhelming evidence and research has long shown that high-quality early learning and care results in extensive short- and long-term benefits for children, parents are now seeing the necessity of child care in a new light. Parents are stretched thin, and many are facing the difficult choice of leaving the workforce altogether because they cannot access quality, affordable care. Meanwhile, with significantly reduced enrollment, skyrocketing operating costs, and continued uncertainty about the future of this pandemic, child care providers are struggling to keep their doors open.
The results of a recent bipartisan poll reveal that voters understand the challenges working families are facing, and they are supportive of the idea of a significant federal investment in meaningful child care policy solutions to sustain the industry and support working families. In fact, 84% of voters say high-quality, affordable child care for families with young children is an essential service – just like health care and education.
The full results and analysis can be found at ffyf.org/2020poll.
- The Center for American Progress published a national survey of registered voters finding that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted families’ access to child care and ability to return to work. A majority of those surveyed expressed support for government investment to improve access to quality, affordable child care in the United States.
- Poll findings released by FFYF and the Center for American Progress earlier this summer showed intense voter support for Congress to provide significant, dedicated funding for child care in a COVID-19 recovery package.
- A Bipartisan Policy Center survey identified that a significant number of parents who sought child care during the pandemic found it difficult to find quality care that falls within their budget, and that the lack of child care resources was a barrier to their remote or in-person work.
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children released a survey of more than 5,000 child care providers from all 50 states finding that, without federal assistance, many of the nation’s child care providers will have to close permanently.
- Child Care Aware of America released a report exploring the broken child care system. It showcased that the U.S. child care system was in trouble long before COVID-19, finding the industry was fragmented, inequitable, inaccessible, and underfunded.