AFT Resolution

REOPENING HIGH-QUALITY CHILD CARE AND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION FOR ALL POST-PANDEMIC

WHEREAS, high-quality child care programs provide structured early childhood education opportunities that support a child's early cognitive and social emotional development; and

WHEREAS, high-quality early childhood education for all is a public good; and

WHEREAS, safe, high-quality, affordable and reliable child care is vital to keeping our economy running at the best of times, it is absolutely essential to our national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, workers with children of all ages must have high-quality, safe, affordable child care options if they are to return to the work site to fully reopen our economy and society; and

WHEREAS, the modifications necessary to make child care centers safe to reopen may raise costs for providers by up to 30 percent and further exacerbate the threat of permanent closures; and

WHEREAS, without significant federal investment, the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to the permanent loss of nearly 4.5 million child care slots; and

WHEREAS, access to high-quality early childhood education contributes to stronger families, greater economic development and more livable communities; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable child care as costing no more than 7 percent of family income; and

WHEREAS, a robust, high-quality, and properly funded universal child care system exists in nearly every other developed country in the world:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will call on the federal government to provide appropriate resources to enable child care providers and early education programs to reopen safely post-pandemic; and

RESOLVED, that because research suggests expanding high-quality early learning initiatives through universal child care would provide economic benefits to America of roughly $8.60 for every $1 spent, the AFT will direct its energy, resources and influence to advocate for the long-term expansion of child care to ensure all families have access to high-quality child care that will not cost more than 7 percent of a family's income.

(2020)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.