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The state of child care in America

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U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee
government document
Publication Date: 
30 Apr 2017


As women have entered the workforce and become breadwinners, access to affordable, high-quality child care has become an increasingly important part of a family’s economic success. High-quality early learning and care provide many benefits to families: not only do they help women who want to stay in the workforce, but they also improve outcomes for children. Study after study shows that high-quality child care makes a real difference in whether a mother works and if a child goes to college or gets a good-paying job. It reduces crime and unemployment among children, and increases earnings and educational attainment for both parents and children. For every dollar spent, early learning and care programs can generate between $5.98 and $10.15 of benefits to society.

If America is to continue to lead in tomorrow’s economy, it cannot ignore the importance of investing in our children from birth to kindergarten and empowering more women to work. Unfortunately, too many families currently cannot afford high-quality child care, and the Trump administration’s policies will not help these families. Without government programs that guarantee affordability, provide highquality preparation for future education, and meet the needs of working families, American families will continue to struggle.