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Child Care Roadmap: Conclusion

The child care system is in need of transformative new policies that center equity and justice, recognize the value and importance of the workforce, and invest adequately in children, families, providers, and communities. 

Collectively, the bold state-level actions described above represent a way forward, relying on the power and drive of policymakers, advocates, and those with lived experience to create meaningful change. Even as we continue to demand a robust federal investment in child care, states can still take action and build a child care system that truly values the workforce, gives every family the opportunity to thrive, and promotes learning and development for each and every child in our country.

That said, the path that each state takes will differ, especially given the uncertainties that will be with us for the foreseeable future— whether they stem from politics, economics, or public health. We also need to hear more directly from local stakeholders, especially families and educators, and ensure that their hopes and dreams for their children and themselves are aligned with this roadmap. In other words, as we take our first steps toward a more transformational future, we will also need to be nimble and change course or create new paths, or slow down or accelerate as circumstances change.  

Together, we are ready to move forward on the path to a child care system that is based on a public good; that compensates providers for the incredible and hard work they do every day; that recognizes the individual needs of each child, each family, and each provider; and that eliminates the systemic inequities that have plagued early childhood programs for decades. The time for change is now. 

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