For decades, policy experts, practitioners, and advocates have called attention to the inadequate public funding that supports the child care sector in the US. As a result, many child care providers in underresourced communities struggle to survive without additional support, and access to child care depends heavily on parents’ ability to pay the high costs. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this crisis, and policymakers are now considering fundamental changes to the child care funding infrastructure. To inform policymakers in reforming the child care sector, we scanned innovative child care policies from abroad to stabilize child care supply. Australia’s Community Child Care Fund (CCCF), which provides operational grants to providers in historically underserved communities offers lessons that US policymakers could employ in the US to stabilize at-risk child care providers. In this brief, we discuss the child care crisis in the US, review the CCCF, and identify lessons and trade-offs for policymakers interested in implementing a similar policy in the US.
This brief is part of a larger project exploring how innovative policies and programs from abroad could inform state and local efforts in the US to advance an inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources from the full project are available at https://urbn.is/lessons.