Child care is a necessity for many of today’s American families, especially low- and middle-income families, yet the cost of accessing high-quality care often rivals the cost of housing.
For four years running, the First Five Years Fund’s annual national bipartisan poll shows that early childhood education and care is a national priority for Americans, regardless of party. Even now, in the midst of an angry and polarized election, 90 percent of voters agree on one thing: Congress and the next president should work together to make quality early childhood education and care more accessible and affordable to low- and middle-income families. That includes 78 percent of Trump supporters and 97 percent of Clinton supporters.
Support for enhancing every component of early childhood care and education has also been incredibly consistent—with child care at the top of that list. Eighty nine percent of voters believe it is important to make high-quality early education and child care affordable for working families in order to give more children access to opportunities early in life.
Though Congress may be divided on any number of issues today, they have consistently stepped up as champions for early learning, even in this time of limited resources. Majorities of every partisan persuasion support investing in early learning and care. In fact, 82 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Independents, and 98 percent of Democrats believe in this same sentiment.
Year after year, the FFYF national bipartisan poll has made it clear what American voters prioritize: making sure our youngest learners access the early learning and care opportunities they need to be successful in school and in life. The fact that both campaigns have decided to spotlight how they plan to address the challenge of access to high-quality, affordable child care and early learning, is another indication that this is truly a bipartisan issue, one where Americans are insisting action must be taken. Supporting America’s young children isn’t a Republican or Democrat value—it’s an American value.
Amanda Guarino, Policy Director, First Five Years Fund - The First Five Years Fund helps America achieve better results in education, health and economic productivity through investments in quality early childhood education programs for disadvantaged children. FFYF provides knowledge, data, and advocacy – persuading federal policymakers to make investments in the first five years of a child’s life that create greater returns for all. Learn more at ffyf.org.