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Why It Matters

Two young girls sitting on the ground playing with building blocks and dinosaurs.

For a child, the first five years last forever.

Quality care is essential to a child’s development. Investing in early learning programs ensures young children have a strong foundation for success in school and life.

However, child care and early learning are in limited supply, meaning options can be hard to find and even harder to afford. As a result, too many parents and caregivers are forced to miss work or leave the workforce entirely, leaving families financially unstable, employers scrambling, and our littlest learners missing important opportunities to thrive. 

We can change this. Federal investment provides the foundation. Together, Congress and the Administration have the power to drive smart policies and invest federal dollars into proven programs that benefit children, their families, and our economy.  

Early Childhood Development

During the first five years, a child’s brain is at its most flexible, making this a critical period for learning and growth. Access to early learning lays the foundation for school readiness by building the cognitive and social skills children need to do well in school and in life, including language, attentiveness, persistence, kindness, and self-regulation.

Lifelong Gains

Investing in early childhood education creates upward mobility by providing all children with a solid foundation for long-term success in life. Children who receive a high-quality early childhood education are more likely to earn higher wages, live healthier lives, avoid incarceration, raise strong families, and contribute to society. The benefits of high-quality programs from birth through age 5 do not end with one child but instead extend to their entire family, now and in the years to come.

Working Families

Limited or inconsistent access to child care means parents miss work, lowering household incomes and potentially leading to job loss. Many parents are unable to participate in the workforce at all due to a lack of affordable, reliable care for their children. Ensuring families have access to quality, affordable child care and early learning will result in a more efficient and productive American workforce.

Economy & Businesses

Employers rely on affordable, quality child care to support a robust workforce – but it’s often out of reach for too many. Child care is an integral pillar to supporting a thriving economy, with 27 million Americans relying on it to go to work. But for decades, the skyrocketing cost of quality care and the limited supply across the country have created insurmountable challenges for too many workers.

Voter Demand

Over a decade of state and national polling proves the nation is united when it comes to supporting child care and early learning. Voters want Congress and the White House to make it a priority. Americans see the value in high-quality child care and early learning programs, and want quality choices and greater access to these opportunities. FFYF’s renowned national and state polling is the gold standard for voter sentiment on child care and early learning in America.

Make solutions a priority

We are building bipartisan support for child care and early learning programs on the Hill, in the White House, and among supporters, business leaders, and community advocates. 

Join us and become a child care champion!

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