Big News This Week on New Federal Investments in child care, children’s education, care for our aging population, Medicaid coverage for low-income Americans, and housing and nutrition programs in the Build Back Better Framework
“The Build Back Better framework is an historic win for all of us. The plan President Biden outlined and its promised investments are a down payment on a fairer, more equitable economic future,” said C. Nicole Mason, President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
A key investment for American families in the Build Back Better framework are its child care programs. A May 2021 survey by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research showed that close to two-thirds of women with children report being very or somewhat worried about balancing work responsibilities with their own family needs. The final framework of the Build Back Better plan will help address these concerns by providing the much-needed assistance securing the child care services women need to pursue their careers and provide for their families.
“Access to affordable child care is a fundamental need for women in today’s workforce,” said Mason. “It opens new doors for women to pursue careers and helps to strengthen families and improve their financial security, boosting the economy in the process. This is a vital and necessary support women need as they re-enter the workforce after a pandemic that saw women disproportionately affected by job losses ad unemployment compared to men.”
At the same time, Mason lamented the fact that paid leave was left out of the final package, dealing a disappointing blow to American workers.
“Paid leave is crucial for American workers and their families,” said Mason. “We learned during the pandemic that paid sick leave was not a ‘nice to have’ but a necessity for the most vulnerable workers and for families. It now falls to the states to protect workers and provide paid leave programs so workers do not have to choose between their jobs and families when faced with life changes or serious health challenges.”