Child care is the backbone of our society, supporting the care of our children and allowing millions of parents to participate in the workforce and civic life.
But the current system fails to meet the needs of the people most impacted—especially women of color, whose families are both most impacted by our lack of child care systems and who make up a disproportionate amount of our under-paid child care workforce.
The Child Care For Every Family Network brings together the people directly involved in and impacted by child care—parents, providers, and advocates—to build a racial and gender justice-centered child care infrastructure that is accountable to those who have been most harmed by our lack of investment and currently underfunded programs. We are convening families, organizations, and providers across localities, states, and the nation to develop shared strategies to fundamentally transform child care.
We seek a transformed national-to-state system that results in universal access to equitable, accessible, high-quality, affordable, and culturally relevant child care across the U.S. with a diverse, well-paid, and well-supported workforce.
Our work is guided by five fundamental values:
We believe child care must be fundamentally valued and seen as a part of the full spectrum of care each of us deserves from prenatal to death. Child care is a shared public good requiring a robust government response. Therefore, governments at every level must prioritize and adequately invest public dollars in an equitable child care system that is accountable to the people. Child care for us includes early care, learning, education, and pre-K as well as out-of-school time.
We need a child care system designed for all types of providers (in a center, school, community or home setting) that give options to meet the needs for all families (defining families broadly and inclusively, including LGBTQ families) and that supports the well-being of children (recognizing their inherent dignity, equality, and inalienable rights). We reject a scarcity mindset that pits parents, providers, and children against each other. When parents and providers are well-supported, children thrive.
Our work is guided by a shared acknowledgment that the current system of caregiving in this country is rooted in systemic racism and upholds practices that continue to harm Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. Today's system remains stigmatizing, insufficient, and narrow, and pays unsustainably low wages to providers. Therefore, any steps we take together must be in service of realizing our vision, rather than upholding a fundamentally flawed system. We will not get stuck in only what seems "possible" today.
The burdens of our flawed child care system are disproportionately shouldered by women, particularly women of color (specifically Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and immigrant women), who are paid a lower income and whose labor, both in our families and in our workplaces, has been and continues to be undervalued. We trust women and transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people to make the best choices for themselves and their lives and see access to child care as an essential element of reproductive justice. Therefore, to find solutions we must understand the child care system through an intersectional analysis including race, gender, and class.
We believe in authentically centering the voices and experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) women and communities, immigrants, children with disabilities, and those most directly impacted by the failings and barriers in the current child care system—both families and providers. In our work, we seek to support engagement through language access and financial support, whenever possible. Their knowledge and lived experiences will shape fairer and more effective policies and practices.
We believe child care is a shared public good requiring a robust government response.
Groundbreaking federal legislation and substantial public funding that centers equity are critical to building a child care system that works for everyone, affording Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and other marginalized participants the respect and value they have too often been denied.
Incremental solutions will not suffice; we must address the root causes of the failed status quo—institutional racism and sexism—and shift the axis of power to those directly impacted by child care by centering their needs and leadership.
The Network is creating a multi-year, multi-pronged roadmap for this change that has multigenerational impacts and coordinates across local, state, and national levels.
Together, we can transform child care.
Join us in our work for universal, equitable, accessible, high-quality, affordable, and culturally relevant child care across the U.S.: