Change the Conversation on Child Care

Where might we be as a nation if child care were treated as a basic foundation to our economy? And what if those who care for our children are fully valued for the important work they do? Imagine the human capital we as a society would gain if women at all income levels have access to flexible child care that fits in with their work schedules. And imagine where we would be as a nation if children from all walks of life had a running start from the get go.

The Ms. Foundation believes that we must change the conversation on child care. Because child care is still considered “women’s work,” and the responsibility of individual families to figure out on their own, these issues are not treated with the seriousness or urgency that they deserve. Well, it’s time to change that. We’re working to transform the nation’s child care system–for the benefit of working parents, their children, child care workers, and ultimately for the benefit of our entire society.

Why Child Care?

Did you know that in 24 states, the average full-time daycare costs for an infant exceed the average cost of rent? Or that many families with an infant are likely to spend more on childcare costs than they do on food? Finding quality, affordable and flexible child care is difficult for middle class families, and it can be virtually impossible for low-income women.

And despite the high cost of childcare, the individuals–97% of whom are women–that work as nannies and daycare providers often lack the respect, rights and labor protections that are afforded to other professionals. In fact, these women, who are disproportionately women of color, are among the least likely of workers to be guaranteed basic labor rights, like a living wage, safe working conditions, sick leave and overtime pay.

From all angles, child care is a critical issue for all women with children and this issue hits hardest on low income single mothers. As difficult as today’s economy is, we must invest in child care as a cornerstone to economic policy.

Watch: Mississippi Low-Income Childcare Initiative

Ensuring Affordable Child Care While Protecting Childcare Workers

Parents should not be forced into these impossible choices. We’re working on a variety of initiatives to change the reality for the better, from keeping the issue in the headlines, to funding grantees who share our concern, to creating policy change.

The Ms. Foundation is committed to changing the way we think about child care in this country. We fund organizations that work to increase public investments in child care and raise the quality for jobs within the child care sector. We are bringing groups from all across the country to create a shift where child care becomes a core part of our economic policies. Come join us on this journey.

Join us in creating a nation in which children, families, and workers benefit from a new approach to childcare.