In addition to the proven benefits of early childhood education for children, access to affordable, reliable, and high-quality early learning and child care opportunities provides working families with better job stability and overall economic security. Unfortunately, the need to access this critical support far outpaces their current capacity, and many families across the country cannot afford the cost of quality child care. In fact, the cost of quality child care is as high or higher than the cost of in-state college tuition in 28 states, plus the District of Columbia.
Without access to early learning and care, parents tend to miss work, lowering household incomes and potentially leading to job loss. Many parents are unable to enter or return to the workforce at all, due to a lack of affordable, reliable care for their children. Supporting families with the cost of quality preschool and child care will result in a more efficient and productive American workforce in both the short- and long-term.