Racial Equity Critical to Child Care Recovery

Washington, DC, July 16, 2020—The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the nation’s already-fragile child care system to the brink of collapse. Policymakers’ failure to sustain the system has harmed families and providers across the country, leaving parents scrambling for safe care and workers without a paycheck. Black, Latinx, Asian American, and Native communities—who are already bearing the brunt of COVID-19—are at particular risk as COVID devastates the child care sector.

In a new report, An Anti-Racist Approach to Supporting Child Care Through COVID-19 and Beyond, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) examines how the pandemic has exacerbated existing racial and ethnic inequities for parents, children, and workers in the child care system. The report offers local, state, and federal policy recommendations for meeting the challenge of the current public health and economic crises while rebuilding a stronger, more equitable system. The report includes specific recommendations for increasing investment, protecting the health of children and their caregivers, equitably expanding access to high-quality child care, and listening and responding to the needs expressed by workers and families of color. The report finds that without swift action by Congress, the system will collapse, increasing inequities and hampering an economic recovery.

“Decades of racist policies, underinvestment, and inequitable treatment meant that even before the pandemic families of color were denied access to affordable high-quality care while child care workers—disproportionately women of color—were underpaid and undervalued. As we grapple with the fallout from COVID-19, policymakers must use anti-racist policies to rebuild the child care sector so we create a system that works for all families.” said Christine Johnson-Staub, CLASP senior policy analyst and co-author of the report.

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The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty organization advancing policy solutions for people with low incomes. CLASP’s solutions directly address the barriers people face because of their race, ethnicity, and immigration status.