06 Feb Six Ideas for Reforming the Child Care System in Children
As Linda Smith, Director of BPC’s Early Childhood Initiative, testified before the Education and Labor Committee hearing on America’s childcare crisis, child care is a pillar of opportunity for families in this country. Parents rely on a market-based child care system that includes a diverse set of child care arrangements and options to meet varying circumstances and needs. Unfortunately, the market for child care is reaching a breaking point: supply doesn’t meet the demand, cost to produce the service exceeds what most can afford to pay, and child care businesses are unable to operate successfully.
Too much potential is left on the table, both in terms of today’s workforce and in terms of our nation’s future prosperity. By thinking big and bold, we can ensure that today’s workforce is strong, tomorrow’s workforce can grow, and our economy can prosper.
Here are six ideas for reforming the child care system:
- Identify parent needs and preferences and take them seriously
- Focus limited federal resources on those most in need
- Encourage greater state and local participation and business and philanthropic involvement
- Learn from existing programs to spur innovation and encourage improvements.
- Support the child care workforce
- Transform and simplify the system
Progress is possible if we work together across the aisle, among different levels of government, with the business and philanthropic communities, and most importantly, with parents.