CCAoA is frustrated and disappointed with the news that the Senate may soon consider a budget reconciliation package, the Inflation Reduction Act, that includes no funding for child care and early learning. There is still time left for Congress to right this wrong.
For months, child care programs, system leaders, families and businesses have shared countless stories of the longstanding challenges the sector faces. Their messages are the same: the status quo of low compensation for educators and high prices for families is unacceptable. The child care system can only move toward thriving in the future with robust public investment.
The news that a budget reconciliation bill committed to inflation reduction, as its name implies, is slated to move forward without tackling the high prices families face for child care is alarming. As CCAoA research shows, in three out of four regions of the U.S., the annual price of center-based child care for an infant exceeds the cost of housing. In all four regions, child care exceeds the annual cost of in‑state tuition at a public four‑year university. If Congress’ main concern is helping families deal with rising costs, nothing could be more important than investments that help reduce the high price of child care.
CCAoA believes this is also an issue of equity. As we consider the impact of the pandemic on women, who still make up all net labor force leavers since February 2020, it is unacceptable for Congress to continue to make policy choices that leave them behind.
Before voting on the Inflation Reduction Act, CCAoA implores Congress to include significant, sustained funding for the child care and early learning system.