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Eight national philanthropic organizations announce Investing in America Child Care Partnership


New coordinated effort to strengthen local child care systems and increase access to high-quality, affordable child care in communities that house America’s growing infrastructure workforce.

Today at the Department of Commerce National Child Care Innovation Summit, leaders from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Buffett Early Childhood Fund, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Pivotal, Rockefeller Family Fund and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, announced the launch of the Investing in America Child Care Partnership. This partnership is a new coordinated effort to leverage federal infrastructure funding to strengthen local child care systems and increase access to high-quality, affordable child care in communities that house America’s growing infrastructure workforce.

For working parents and caregivers, access to high-quality, affordable child care is an imperative. Yet, as child care providers across the country operate on thin margins with limited capacity to expand supply, the system is struggling to meet the needs of a workforce that increasingly includes parents and caregivers, many of whom are women of color. Recognizing that meeting this moment requires innovative, sustainable solutions that will strengthen local child care systems, the Investing in America Child Care Partnership reimagines how we implement infrastructure projects, centering equity and prioritizing the needs of all workers.

The Partnership builds on the Investing in America agenda, which has allowed for unprecedented investments in infrastructure, clean energy, semiconductors and biotechnology through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the CHIPS and Science for America Act (CHIPS). An important aspect of this agenda has been the mobilization of private sector investments to bring jobs to parts of the country that are often left behind. As a result, many new employees will need help in locating and paying for high-quality child care settings where children can thrive.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to find child care in many communities across the country, including in the communities where many manufacturers are set to begin building new plants, roads and bridges. Shortly before the pandemic, the Bipartisan Policy Center surveyed 35 states and found that more than 11 million children were in need of child care — yet fewer than 8 million slots were available.

As a result, our foundations are investing in a coalition of national and local nonprofit organizations working to bring together government, employers, child care providers, families and other local partners in communities across Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire and Ohio, with additional states under further consideration. These communities will serve as pilot efforts to expand the supply of high-quality child care that meet the needs of families proximate to major infrastructure projects. Key areas of work include:

  • Business and Employer Engagement: The SEMI Foundation, Policy Equity Group, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, EPIC – Executives Partnering to Invest in Children. Working with employers, including the construction and semiconductor manufacturing industries, to develop employer child care plans, provide implementation tools and assistance for solutions that meet the needs of employees, support career pathways for those who rely on child care, and advance partnership opportunities to expand child care capacity and supply with local communities.
  • Supply-Building and Financing Technical Assistance: The National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Children’s Facilities Network, led by IFF, LISC and Low Income Investment Fund. Engaging local government leaders, community development financial institutions and NACo will deepen place-based engagements in key communities and partner with local governments and early childhood providers to blend and braid sources of federal funding, including CHIPS, BIL and IRA funds alongside public child care subsidies to serve more children in high quality centers and family child care homes. They will also work to ensure supportive state and local policies are in place to allow for expansion.
  • Advocacy and Organizing: The Century Foundation, Child Care for Every Family Network and Community Change. Expanding its research and advocacy campaign to advocate for federal, state and local policies that can strengthen the role and voice of child care in industrial and economic development and workforce policies.

This Partnership is facilitated by independent research and education organization Public Private Strategies Institute, which will support this critical opportunity for philanthropy to leverage its role in strengthening the nonprofit infrastructure in our communities – so that the benefits of public resources accrue to the families that need the most support. It will build on decades of partnerships our organizations have supported locally and nationally, strengthening cross-sectoral relationships rooted in the context of each community to strengthen child care systems as a foundation of economic development strategies in local communities. We anticipate this effort will not only support more immediate community needs, but also allow for important learnings to inform public and private stakeholders as we work toward building an affordable, high-quality, accessible child care system that meets the diverse needs of children and families.

And this is only the first step. We invite our philanthropic partners, state and local leaders, business and employer partners, child care advocates and economic development leaders to join us to find new ways to center child care as we implement infrastructure projects and grow our workforce. Together, we must meet this moment, for our children, their families, and those who serve them.