Investing in Care Is Essential Infrastructure

The availability of care and care workers is integral to maximizing workforce participation and building a healthy, resilient economy. A continuum of care for children, sick loved ones, older adults, people with disabilities, and workers themselves is and always has been vital to sustain families, protect jobs, and drive economic growth. But the pandemic has revealed how decades of underinvestment in care—if not ignoring the need entirely—has hurt families and cost millions of women their jobs. In order to equitably rebuild from the pandemic, policymakers must learn from the past year and prioritize robust investments in care as essential infrastructure that makes all work possible. Without measures to fill caregiving gaps, people who have been harmed the most by the economic crisis will continue to pay the price. Policymakers must prioritize quality, affordable child care and early education; permanent, national paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave; home- and community-based services; and higher wages and improved benefits and protections for care workers and early educators.

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President Biden’s Home Care Proposal Would Create Massive Job Growth in Every State Article
A home health aide in Haverstraw, New York, gives a patient her medicine on May 5, 2021. (Getty/Michael M. Santiago)

President Biden’s Home Care Proposal Would Create Massive Job Growth in Every State

A bold investment in the care economy would help aging Americans and people with disabilities live at home affordably and create hundreds of thousands of good-paying home care jobs, addressing the industry’s severe job shortage.

SEIU, the Center for American Progress

These Interconnected Policies Would Sustain Families, Support Women, and Grow the Economy Article
Long-term caregivers and supporters rally in Los Angeles on July 13, 2021, for greater federal and local investment in the country's caregiving infrastructure as Congress debates the president's significant investment in quality home care. (Getty/Frederic J. Brown/AFP)

These Interconnected Policies Would Sustain Families, Support Women, and Grow the Economy


Together, the policies included in the Biden administration’s Build Back Better agenda would propel families’ and the country’s economic security by prioritizing child care, the child tax credit, paid family and medical leave, and good jobs that get Americans back to work.

Arohi Pathak, Diana Boesch, Laura Dallas McSorley

Quick Facts on Paid Family and Medical Leave Article
A COVID-19 patient, trying to recover at home, grabs fresh air on the front stoop of her home in Brooklyn, New York, on November 20, 2020. (Getty/Andrew Lichtenstein)

Quick Facts on Paid Family and Medical Leave

The United States urgently needs a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program that will boost the health and economic well-being of American workers and families.

Diana Boesch

How COVID-19 Sent Women’s Workforce Progress Backward Report

How COVID-19 Sent Women’s Workforce Progress Backward

The collapse of the child care sector and drastic reductions in school supervision hours as a result of COVID-19 could drive millions of mothers out of the paid workforce. Inaction could cost billions, undermine family economic security, and set gender equity back a generation.

Julie Kashen, Sarah Jane Glynn, Amanda Novello

The Urgent Case for Permanent Paid Leave Report
 (The dome of U.S. Capitol building is seen on January 16, 2020, Washington, D.C.)

The Urgent Case for Permanent Paid Leave

Policymakers must consider lessons learned from the emergency paid leave laws passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic in order to design national, permanent paid leave policies that ensure racial, gender, and economic equity and meet the needs of families.

Diana Boesch

The Rising Cost of Inaction on Work-Family Policies Article
Two women who have been living in homeless shelters after struggling to find jobs that would cover the cost of child care wait with their children for the bus in Atlanta, December 2015. (Getty/Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

The Rising Cost of Inaction on Work-Family Policies

Continued inaction from Congress on work-family policies, including the current lack of access to affordable child care and comprehensive paid family and medical leave, costs workers $31.9 billion in lost wages annually.

Sarah Jane Glynn

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