Affordable Child Care and Expanded Access to Early Learning

Voters across the political spectrum express a strong desire for state and federal governments to tackle issues involving affordable child care and expanded access to early learning.

As the 2018 midterm elections approach, voters face important decisions about the issues and priorities they would like to see political leaders and governments at all levels address. Although less examined in relation to other major priorities such as health care or education, issues surrounding the availability and affordability of high-quality child care, and expanded early childhood education options, are fast becoming important political topics in public discourse and within political institutions.

Despite the rising importance of these issues, gaps remain in our understanding of how the public views the challenges and potential solutions for addressing child care and early learning. How are working parents today handling child care needs? Do they have good options for high-quality child care? Is child care affordable for these parents? Does the availability of child care influence personal decisions about work, including the types of jobs considered, hours worked, or responsibilities desired? Do parents want public school to start earlier for children, at the prekindergarten level? What role if any should governments play in providing assistance with affordable child care and expanded early childhood education? Will political leaders and institutions be rewarded for taking on these issues or punished for ignoring them?

The remainder of this report explores public opinion on these issues and presents clear evidence of the public’s desire for governments at all levels to do more to address the affordability of child care and ensure that all children have access to high-quality early childhood education options.

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Source: Affordable Child Care and Early Learning for All Families - A National Public Opinion Study by John Halpin, Karl Agne, and Margie Omero posted on September 13, 2018

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