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There was a time not that long ago where child care was essentially ignored as a national crisis even though this system has been broken for decades. For too long child care has been unaffordable and unattainable for too many families with many paying a third of their take home pay to child care and more than half of the country being classified as being child care deserts—areas with an insufficient supply of licensed child care. On top of this, early educators have been and are some of the lowest paid workers often lacking access to critical benefits they need to support themselves and their families. Despite all of this, the issue of child care was still hardly a blip on national political and legislative platforms

Though this difficult reality had been around for years, the COVID19 pandemic threw an already broken child care system into almost total collapse. 16,000 childcare providers shut down during the pandemic further exacerbating access to child care and more than one-third of child care jobs—370,000 jobs in total—were lost from February 2020 to April 2020. To this day employment within the child care industry, unlike the overall labor market which has largely regained the jobs lost, is still below its pre-pandemic levels. 

In response to the pandemic, Congress did take the bold and necessary steps to invest critical funds to stabilize the child care market which saved the child care system from total catastrophe. This was an important moment where our nation’s leaders recognized the need to support families by funding one of the things they needed the most, and it made a big difference.

These moves and this momentum on child care would never have been possible without moms, parents and caregivers collectively raising their voices to make a difference. Child care is finally being seen as the issue that it is. There has finally been a national shift where child care is being recognized as systemic failure, not a personal one that requires overarching solutions. The message is now out there that long term solutions are needed to address this 50 year old crisis. Our leaders need to continue HEARING US to ensure that high-quality and affordable child care becomes a reality for all families. 

One of the most important and impactful ways to be heard is by voting and making it clear that we need child care NOW. Look at how far we’ve come together on ensuring that child care can no longer be ignored as a national issue. This upcoming election presents a HUGE opportunity to show up for child care. Even just recently, the federal budget included nearly a $1 billion increase for child care and Head Start. We are WINNING on child care, our movement has delivered RESULTS, which is why this is our chance to finally get child care the attention and support it needs to ensure all of our families thrive! 

Now is the time to Mom the Vote on child care!  Be a child care voter by:

  • Registering to vote and checking your voter registration informaton! If you’re already registered it’s important to take a quick moment to check your voter registration status to confirm that all of your information is correct. 
  • Being informed! Know who is on your ballot.
  • Making a voting plan. Do you want to vote by mail or in person? What are important deadlines in your state to register or request a vote by mail ballot? Where is your polling site and how will you get there? What time do you plan on voting if you are going to the polls? These are all important things to consider so you are ready to go when Election day arrives!

Moms and caregivers do the hard work every single day to support, love, and care for those around them. Child care has come this far because of the individuals who took action to make a difference so let’s continue the MOMentum by ensuring our voices and the voices of families, children and providers are heard loud and clear at the ballot box!

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