States of Child Care in America
Thursday, February 7, 11 am – 12 pm
If families in every state were able to access affordable child care, the returns from increased labor force participation would amount to approximately $59 billion annually, boosting U.S. gross domestic product by roughly 1.2 percent. Work is a fact of life for most parents of very young children, yet child care costs, particularly for infants and toddlers, can take over half of families’ earned income. In 28 states and Washington, D.C., center-based child care for infants and toddlers is more expensive than in-state tuition and fees at a public university.
These gaps in investment are firmly linked to achievement gaps in young children. We know that child care quality shapes early brain development, but most Americans live in infant and toddler care deserts. In the first three years, more than a million neural connections form in a baby’s brain each second. The way adult caregivers interact and connect with the 12 million infants and toddlers in the United States can shape babies’ brain architecture well into their prime working years.
Children with reliable, quality early childhood care grow up in better health and earn higher wages. They pay more taxes and draw on fewer government resources, and their parents contribute more to the workforce. Public investments in these programs produce significant net societal returns, with benefits to children and families far exceeding the price of proactive investments in child care.
Join the Congressional Baby Caucus on February 7, 2019 for a briefing on “States of Child Care in America” located in Rayburn 2103. We will discuss what states are doing with increased appropriations in FY18 and FY19 to child care programs such as the Child Care Development Block Grant, share results of a national poll of governors, as well as an analysis of how states are using federal funding to expand Early Head Start, increase program rates, and implement quality standards. We welcome Congressional staff, interns, and advocacy groups to engage with the following speakers for an-depth discussion of the state of child care investments across America.
Zero to Three – Myra Jones-Taylor
National Women’s Law Center – Helen Blank
National Governor’s Association – Morgan Wilson
Rosa L. DeLauro
Member of Congress