Talking about Child Care

President Obama highlighted child care and early education in his 2015 State of the Union address.

At Children’s Council, we are excited to see growing public awareness that access to quality child care is a “two generation” issue. Two recent articles from influential publications in Washington explain why investing in child care is good for children, good for working parents, and good for the economy as a whole.

In Roll Call, Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman argues that Congress should increase investments in early education because it’s more effective than trying to correct problems later in life. He also views quality early education as the best strategy for unlocking the potential of our future workforce.

Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell echoes Heckman’s points, then shifts her focus to the value of keeping parents in the workforce. She examines the long-term negative impact on a family when a woman (which is most common) leaves the workforce even for 1-2 years. Rampell also notes that access to child care is crucial for the upward mobility of single parents and their children.

While these are national publications, the issues they raise apply to San Francisco. Like most things in our city, quality child care is very expensive. Greater public awareness is an important step toward convincing government to increase the availability of child care subsidies for low-income families.

Later this year, policy makers in both San Francisco and Sacramento will be making important decisions about child care. Children’s Council encourages you to become familiar with these issues now so you can raise your voice when the time comes. Are you interested in becoming a parent advocate? Learn more about our Parent Voices program.

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