News Update

Governors highlight child care as key to economic recovery from pandemic

Many governors across the country are using their annual State of the State addresses to highlight the essential role of early learning and child care for families and society at large, according to an analysis by the First Five Years Fund, a research and advocacy group.

Amid a deepening child care crisis, the focus seems to cut across party lines, researchers say, with 66% of the governors stressing that investing in child care is one of the best ways to get parents back into the workforce and help the economy and 50% pointing to funding pre-K programs as a critical way to invest in the future of their state. It’s also noteworthy that 1 in 5 governors suggested that emergency federal funds were critical to helping working families and the child care sector weather the pandemic.

Child care and pre-K have proved to be a rare, unifying priority for both Democratic and Republican leaders for years,” said Sarah Rittling, executive director of the fund. “This year’s State of the State speeches continue that long tradition, with bipartisan governors from across the country affirming their commitment to improving access to high-quality early learning and care options. It’s clear that in any state, from South Carolina to Hawaii, leaders know these are smart investments for parents, children and their states’ economies.”