America is in the midst of a caregiving crisis. Lacking sufficient child care policy, families must cobble together solutions to care giving challenges and are stretched woefully thin as a result. For decades, policymakers and businesses ignored our lack of early care and learning infrastructure, dismissing it as a secondary “women’s” issue, and caregiving as a private responsibility.
But we can’t ignore the crisis any longer. Costs are high for families, yet, because parent tuition alone isn’t enough to cover the number of caregivers required to provide one-on-one quality care and attention, caregivers make poverty wages. As a result, quality, which is critical for healthy child development, is often low. And good care can be difficult to find. Government, businesses, providers and families will all need to take action to address the problems of the past and begin to build the care infrastructure for the future that we need for healthy families, communities and the economy. But to do that well, we need to take stock of where we are now.
The Care Index, a data set and methodology collaboration between New America’s Better Life Lab and Care.com, offers new information on the cost, quality, and availability of child care in the United States. In addition, New America is releasing the New America Care Report, an independent analysis that illuminates the shortfalls, bright spots, challenges, and opportunities in the U.S. child care landscape.
On September 28, we will launch The Care Index and the New America Care Report in an event featuring our nation’s leading voices on care and care giving policy. Join us to learn more about The Care Index, the New America Care Report, the state of care giving, and how to support families and value care.
Director, Better Life Lab & The Good Life Initiative
Senior Policy Analyst, Better Life Lab
Child Care in an Election Year: Proposals from the Presidential Campaigns:
Deputy National Policy Director, Trump Campaign
President & CEO, New America
Sheila Lirio Marcelo
CEO & Founder, Care.com
Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Co-Director, Caring Across Generations
Partner & Global Business Policy Council Managing Director, A. T. Kearney
Executive Director, Child Care Aware® of America
We would like to thank Care.com, and A.T. Kearney for their generous support of this important research. Thank you to the numerous organizations and individuals who provided thoughtful contributions and reviews for this report. The conclusions reached in this report are those of the authors alone.