Statement from NAEYC on the Child Care for Working Families Act
Working families make sacrifices and hard choices every day in order to put the needs of their children first. But when it comes to child care, parents shouldn’t have to choose between affordability and quality. Educators shouldn’t have to subsist on poverty-level wages in order to subsidize the costs of care. And society’s investments shouldn’t create a false dichotomy between “care” and “education” for our youngest children, whose positive growth and development depends on having both.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is proud to support the Child Care for Working Families Act because Americans need a comprehensive public investment that delivers on the science of early learning and advances our current and future workforce. Far from attending to only one piece of the puzzle, this important piece of legislation would pair federal investment with state partnerships to dramatically expand access, address affordability, increase quality, and invest in early childhood education professionals.
Some tradeoffs make sense. But decades of research have told us too much about the critical nature of the early years, and the benefits that accrue to individuals and to society when we invest in those years for us to continue to sell our children, families, educators, and economy short. We thank Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA3) for their leadership in introducing this bill, and we encourage all members of Congress to support it, heeding the calls of American across all political, geographic, and demographic backgrounds who know that investing in high-quality early childhood education and early childhood educators will make America brighter, stronger, and more competitive.
Lauren Hogan is the managing director of policy and professional advancement for NAEYC, in Washington, DC.