Employment and Jobs

Free College Is Good, but Free Day Care Is Better

November 6, 2019  • Maureen Conway & Mark G. Popovich

“Free College” plans garner headlines, but for many parents the more immediate need is free day care. Many states have enacted plans and some in Congress have proposed a $94 billion program to enable free community college across the country. In contrast, House appropriators only proposed an additional $4 billion for early childhood programs this year. After focusing for years on postsecondary education and training strategies designed to help low-income workers get better jobs, we certainly believe in broadening access to education for low-income students and working families. But in our decades of work, we know that paying tuition is only part of the problem. To build systems that help working families pay the bills, help students learn and be prepared for tomorrow’s jobs, and help working people bring their best self to work, day care is a better investment. Here are six reasons why:

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Despite the universal need for #childcare, we invest little in providing quality, affordable care. Writing in @povertynews, @conway_maureen & @mpopov1229 share six reasons why free day care is the best investment for working families.


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