NAEYC Statement on the Child Care for Working Families Act
NAEYC proudly endorses the Child Care for Working Families Act, which was reintroduced today by Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Bobby Scott. We thank them for their leadership in supporting accessible, affordable, high-quality early childhood education, and for looking out for children and families throughout the country. We encourage all members of Congress to support this comprehensive legislation as it moves our nation towards valuing high-quality child care as the public good that it is.
The pandemic has laid bare the need to support the child care sector—including paying for the full cost of care and professional salaries, health care and retirement benefits for early childhood educators—in order to keep our economy on solid footing and ensure young children thrive and learn. The Child Care for Working Families Act provides this support by pairing federal investment with state partnerships to dramatically and equitably expand access, address affordability, increase quality, and invest in the education and compensation of early childhood education professionals. These bold investments, which build on relief funding, will support families, deliver on the science of early learning and advance our current and future early childhood education workforce.
Decades of research have revealed the critical importance of the early years, and the reality that both individuals and society benefit enormously when we invest in those years. At the same time, parents shouldn’t have to choose between affordability and quality, and educators shouldn’t have to subsist on poverty-level wages in order to subsidize the costs of care.
As we emerge from the pandemic, a strong, equitable child care system is necessary to create the foundation for America’s economic recovery and rebuilding, by ensuring families have safe, high-quality care and education for their children. This moment is an opportunity for lawmakers to heed the calls of Americans across all political, geographic, and demographic backgrounds who know that investing in high-quality early childhood education and early childhood educators will make America more just, equitable, and strong.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children. The association comprises nearly 60,000 individual members of the early childhood community and more than 50 Affiliates, all committed to delivering on the promise of high-quality early learning. Together, we work to achieve a collective vision: that all young children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential.