As we in Wisconsin battle to make modest child care policy improvements after a decade of reduction in child care investment, I am sending this Policy Paper by Economic Policy Institute that clearly lays out key issues that need to be addressed:
- Paid Family Leave: Policies that allow all parents the option to stay home with their infants, newly adopted children, or new foster children.
- Affordable Child Care and Education: Policies that relieve the cost burden of early care and education for low- and middle-income families.
- A Qualified, Compensated Workforce: Policies that improve quality by investing in the early care and education workforce.
Wisconsin and the nation have failed in meeting these key components of an effective child care system. Most countries have done much better. The United States, the wealthiest country in the world, is sadly behind in addressing the key challenges to an effective, functioning child care system. My inclination is to put the workforce first in any campaign for improvement, given the revolving door of qualified staff child care programs are facing.
It’s difficult to think beyond day-to-day struggles, but without progress in these larger policies, the child care dilemma will continue.
Early Education Policy Analyst