If Not Now, When? It’s Time to Transform Child Care

March 22, 2021

Morning Consult

President Joe Biden has signed the American Rescue Plan into law, granting $40 billion in child care funding and providing much-needed relief to providers, parents and children alike.

This child care relief is notable for three reasons: First, it is the largest investment this country has ever made in child care, and is roughly 20 times larger than the child care relief provided in President Barack Obama’s stimulus measure. Second, despite the investment’s size, it has been uncontroversial and has not attracted the types of criticism directed at other relief policies. Third, because it is a one-time investment, it will not be sufficient to advance longer-term transformation in the system of child care.

Congress and the administration will need to build on this investment so that communities can make permanent changes to ensure all families have access to affordable, high-quality child care.

Read the full op-ed.

Topics: Media Mention

Mario Cardona

Written by Mario Cardona

Mario Cardona is Chief of Policy and Practice for Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), providing leadership and outreach to the government, CCAoA members and the general public on issues relating to the early care and education system. Cardona previously served in the Obama Administration as the Senior Policy Advisor for Elementary and Secondary Education on the White House Domestic Policy Council. In that role, he led the Administration’s legislative strategy, budget proposals, and policy initiatives to advance and execute President Obama’s early and K-12 education agenda. Prior to his service in the White House, Cardona held senior roles in the U.S. Senate, including as a principal advisor to the Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. While serving in Congress, Cardona wrote and led staff negotiations to pass the Child Care & Development Block Grant Act of 2014, a law that comprehensively updated the quality and safety standards in federally subsidized child care for the first time in nearly twenty years. Cardona earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in education from Harvard University, and a juris doctorate, with honors, from the George Washington University Law School. Cardona joined CCAoA in January 2021.