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Rhetoric vs. reality: Child care

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Schochet, Leila
Publication Date: 
19 Oct 2016



Improving access to high-quality child care is at the forefront of the national policy debate. Legislators, policymakers, and voters are recognizing that the economy depends on working families and that working families depend on high-quality, affordable child care. Republicans and Democrats in Congress have introduced child care legislation, and for the first time ever, both major party presidential candidates have introduced child care proposals.

Accessing high-quality child care is of the utmost importance for working families: 65 percent of children younger than age 6 have all available parents in the workforce, resulting in more than 12 million children attending child care each week. While the numbers speak for themselves, there are still many commonly held misperceptions about the need, value, and effectiveness of child care. This issue brief debunks five common myths about child care and demonstrates how access to high-quality care is a necessity for working families.