For the last half-century, the United States has relied on the private market to provide childcare. Families and providers have struggled in the resulting chronically underfunded system. In particular, low-income Black and brown families have borne the brunt of the decision to treat childcare as a private matter.
In “Supply-Side Childcare Investments: Policies to Develop an Equitable and Stable Childcare Industry,” authors Suzanne Kahn and Steph Sterling propose policy interventions to guide federal supply-side investments in childcare. Their recommendations include:
- Giving communities control and decision-making authority over resources;
- Structuring public resources to prevent firms’ abilities to build extractive power; and
- Deploying resources in a transparent and visible manner to ensure democratic accountability.
As Congress considers making a massive and essential investment in childcare, it should structure investments to promote long-term stability, mitigate inequality, and prevent the concentration of power among firms.