CLEAR Joins with 200 Orgs in Letter to Biden for Equitable Child Care Recovery

This past week CLEAR joined with 200 organizations in sending a letter to President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris which expresses our gratitude for their strong leadership in passing the American Rescue Plan and additional COVID-19 relief, and our continued partnership and support in building a more equitable child care system.

The letter explains how every family needs access to high-quality and affordable child care, and calls for much-needed infrastructure and economic recovery investments that can create jobs, support parents and children, and advance gender and racial equity.

The letter was organized by the National Women’s Law Center. The NWLC fights for gender justice—in the courts, in public policy, and in our society—by working across the issues that are central to the lives of women and girls. Learn more about the NWLC on their website.

A PDF copy of the letter with the full list of signatories is available on the NWLC website.

The text of the letter and the current list of signatories are included below.


The Honorable Joseph Biden, Jr.
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Kamala D. Harris
Vice President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

March 19, 2021

Dear President Biden and Vice President Harris:

We, the undersigned, deeply appreciate your leadership on the American Rescue Plan, and, want to especially thank you for delivering on the promise to support child care by ensuring the sector receives more than $50 billion total in child care relief. These critical investments will help stabilize an otherwise collapsing child care sector, support parents and other caregivers’ ability to work and care for children, support children’s healthy development, and raise wages for the essential workers who care for and educate children every day.

But returning to a broken status quo is not enough. The pandemic has laid bare and exacerbated the deep inequities of a child care system that relies on families paying unaffordable sums and early educators being paid poverty-level wages. It is time to put a stake in the ground and build a comprehensive child care and early education system that works for our nation’s children, families, educators, and economy.

To that end, we look forward to working with you to advance your plan to mobilize American talent and heart to build a 21st century caregiving and education workforce. We write today to offer our partnership and support to ensure that equitable economic recovery efforts include provisions that;

• Ensure families have access to high-quality, affordable child care that is available when and where they need it and invests in the education and compensation of a diverse workforce through the model offered by the Child Care for Working Families Act, providing child care, after school and summer care options for both young children and school-age children.

• Treat caregivers and early childhood educators with respect and dignity for their valuable and complex work, pay them living wages, benefits, and ensure parity with elementary school teachers; provide professional development and career ladders to higher-paying early care and education jobs; a voice in the system; the choice to join a union and bargain collectively, and other fundamental work-related rights and protections.

• Provide equitable access to preschool in a model that is inclusive of centers, schools, community-based organizations, Head Start, Early Head Start and family child care homes, and supports a strong, just birth to age 5 system.

• Support safe, energy-efficient, developmentally appropriate child care facilities, especially in child care deserts, and home-based options in all neighborhoods and all settings.

These policies – many of which you outlined during your campaign – are crucial infrastructure and economic recovery investments in America that will:

  • Create millions of additional good-paying jobs: The Child Care for Working Families Act would create 2.3 million new jobs – a combination of jobs with better compensation for early educators and support for the workforce participation of parents.
  • Enable parents – especially mothers – to participate in the labor force: Since the start of the pandemic, the decline in mothers’ labor force participation has been nearly double that of fathers’ and research shows that COVID has led to mothers of young children reducing work hours four to five times as much as fathers. Supporting parents with high-quality and affordable care options that include availability of care during nontraditional hours will help reverse the staggering decline in women’s labor force participation, which disproportionately impacts Black Indigeneous People of Color (BIPOC) women.
  • Lay a strong foundation for children’s development: As the first years of a child’s life are the period of the most rapid brain development and lay the foundation for all future learning, access to equitable and culturally responsive quality child care and early learning options profoundly shapes the early experiences of our youngest children during a critical time in their development, and ensures that regardless of economic status, race, zip code, language and disability all children have a strong foundation.
  • Advance gender and racial equity: The disproportionately Black, Latina, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and immigrant women who work in child care and early education need better jobs and working conditions. Black mothers who are more likely to be in the workforce and more likely to be their families’ primary breadwinner than other mothers need child care they can depend on. And our nation’s children, nearly half of whom are children of color, need investments in their care and education from birth to age 13.

The United States has not had a comprehensive child care and early education system since a brief period during World War II. Since then American families have been largely left on their own to fend for themselves, relying on the underpaid labor of Black, Latinx, Indigenous and immigrant women, and the time of older siblings to cover the care needs of families instead of attending to their own education. The federal child care programs that are in place cover a tiny fraction of those eligible and a tiny fraction of the costs of care and make it especially hard for children experiencing disabilities to receive care.

Child care is infrastructure. It connects workers and jobs. It makes all other work possible. It supports the positive growth and development of our nation’s youngest children. Without a child care system that works for every family, our economy will suffer in the short and long term. We look forward to working with your administration to prioritize child care and early learning as a key facet of our national economic infrastructure.

Sincerely,

9to5
A Better Balance
ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services)
Action for Children
ADFW Child Care Family Child Care Network
Advocates for Children of New Jersey
AFL-CIO
AFSCME (AFL-CIO)
Afterschool Alliance
Alabama Arise
Alabama Family Child Care Association
Alabama Institute for Social Justice
All Our Kin
Alliance for Quality Education
American Federation of Teachers
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
Assets Matter
Aunt Jackie’s Child Care Home
Bank Street College- Education Center
Bay Area Council
Better Life Lab at New America
BlackHer
Build Up California
Colorado Association of Family Child Care (CAFCC)
California Alternative Payment Program Association (CAPPA)
California Association for the Education of Young Children (CAAEYC)
California Child Care Resource & Referral Network
The California Work & Family Coalition
CAPPA Children’s Foundation
Caring Across Generations
Center for American Progress
Center for Economic and Policy Research
Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research (CLEAR)
Chicago Foundation for Women
Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles
Child Care Aware of America
Child Care Law Center
Child Care Resources of Montana
Child Care Services Association
Child Welfare League of America
Childhaven
Children Now
Children’s Forum
Children’s Advocacy Alliance
Children’s Defense Fund
Children’s HealthWatch
Children’s Institute – Oregon
Citizen Action of New York
The Center for Law and Social Policy
Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap
Colorado Children’s Campaign
Common Good Iowa
Community Change Action
Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI)
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces
Council for Professional Recognition
COVID Community Care
Crossroads United Way
Darke County United Way
Data for Progress
DC Action
DC Family Child Care Association
Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC)
Early Care & Education Pathways to Success (ECEPTS)
Early Edge California
Early Learner South Dakota & United Way of the Black Hills
ECE on the Move
Economic Policy Institute
Educare Learning Network
EMC Communications
Empire State Campaign for Child Care
Equal Rights Advocates
EveryChild California
Family Child Care Association of Maine
Family Forward Oregon
Family Values @ Work
First 5 Association of California
First 5 California
First Five Years Fund
First Focus Campaign for Children
Florida Family Child Care Home Association
Futures Without Violence
GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students
Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality Economic Security and Opportunity Initiative
Global Policy Solutions
Groundwork Ohio
Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network Speaks!
Head Start California
Healthy Child Care Colorado
Helpr
Hey Mirza
IDEA Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association (ITCA)
In the Public Interest
Indiana United Ways
Insight Center for Community Economic Development
Institute for Childhood Preparedness
Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Justice for Migrant Women
LA Women’s Collective
Lake Area United Way
Leah Davis Coaching
Let’s Grow Kids
LIFT
Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
Low Income Investment Fund
Main Street Alliance
Maine Children’s Alliance
Maine People’s Alliance
Make It Work Nevada
Martha Christenson Lees
Maryland State Family Child Care Association
Massachusetts Association of Early Education & Care
Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance
MCCOY (Marion County Commission on Youth, Inc.)
Metro United Way
Michigan Association of United Ways
Mississippi Low Income Child Care Initiative
MomsRising
Mothering Justice
MyVillage
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Association for Family Child Care
National Association for the Education of Young Children
National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education
National Association of Social Workers
National Center for Children in Poverty
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Child Care Association (NCCA)
National Council of Jewish Women
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA)
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Indian Child Care Association
National Partnership for Women & Families
National WIC Association
National Workforce Registry Alliance
National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI)
NC Child
NCBCP Black Women’s Roundtable
Neighborhood Villages
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
New America Early & Elementary Education Policy Program
New Mexico Voices for Children
New York Association for the Education of Young Children
Northern Berkshire United Way
National Women’s Law Center
Ohio Organizing Collaborative
OLÉ Education Fund
Oxfam America
Paid Leave for All
Parent Voices CA
Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew – Policy Action Council, Illinois (POWER-PAC IL)
ParentsTogether Action
Partnership for America’s Children
PEACH Early Childhood Higher Ed Collaborative
PL+US
Policy Matters Ohio
PowHer™ New York
PRE4CLE
Prince George County Family Child Care Association
Prospera Community Development
Public Advocacy for Kids (PAK)
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
RESULTS
RESULTS DC/MD
Roca, Inc.
Save the Children Action Network
SaverLife
Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
SEIU Education and Support Fund
Shma Koleinu/Hear Our Voices
SPACEs In Action
Start Early
Startup Parent
Strategies for Children
Supermajority
Teach Plus
The Arc of the United States
The Connecticut Association for Human Services
The New York Women’s Foundation
The West Side Commons
TIME’S UP Now
UNICEF USA
UNITE-LA
United Parent Leaders Action Network (UPLAN)
United State of Women
United Way of Broward County
United Way of Buffalo and Erie County
United Way of Central Ohio
United Way of Clark, Champaign & Madison Counties
United Way of Greater Cincinnati
United Way of Greater Stark County
United Way of Greater Toledo
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
United Way of St Joseph County
United Way of Westchester and Putnam
United Way Worldwide
United Way of King County
Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children
Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance
Voices for Virginia’s Children
Vote Mama Foundation
Washington Area Women’s Foundation
Washington State Parent Ambassadors
WCRJ Preschool
Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco)
Women Employed
Women’s Fund of Rhode Island
YMCA of the East Bay
YWCA USA
ZERO TO THREE

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