Raising healthy children is the most important responsibility of parents, but it is also one of the most important responsibilities of our society. Healthy children become healthier adults, and contribute to the strength of our economy. There is much to be done to ensure that families have the support they need from workplaces and communities so that all children have high-quality care from birth on.
Most modern American families are made up of two-income households, meaning that their children are often left in the care of professionals in centers, schools or in private homes while both parents work. In 2011, approximately 12 million children under the age of 5 spent an average of 35 hours a week in child care. A greater percentage of children under the age of 5 are in child care compared to school-age children, and parents of these children pay an average of $179 a week for care. Child care represents an expensive, yet critical, part of the American family.
The quality of child care is extremely important when one considers that the children who participate in this system the most are also in a critical stage of brain development. Children who experience high-quality child care score higher in academic and cognitive achievement even ten years after their child care has ended.
Working parents need high quality, accessible, and affordable child care options, as well as information to help them make the best possible choices. Some employers recognize the importance of child care to the health of their businesses and local economies, and they provide valuable benefits like paid family leave and paid sick days so that parents can find quality child care or care for their children themselves when necessary. Communities also play a vital role by making sure that standards for child care providers are enforced, and that there are many good options for working parents.
By recognizing that healthy, well-cared for children are an important investment in our economy and local communities, we can help America grow stronger.
- Minnesota’s Parent Aware program allows parents in the state to find high-quality child care programs – a potential model for other states and communities »
- Fact sheets from the National Association of Child Care Resources & Referral Agencies »
- Research from the Center for American Progress about child care and family-friendly workplace policies »
FYI: Other news from the Clinton Foundation.
President and Chelsea Clinton Travel to Africa to Visit Clinton Foundation Projects
Jul 26, 2013 | Clinton Foundation | New York, NY | Press Release
Visit will highlight Foundation work in economic growth and empowerment, equality of opportunity, and health access in 5 countries
(New York, NY)—On July 31- August 8, President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will travel to Africa to visit Clinton Foundation projects in Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Rwanda, and South Africa. This trip, and the projects visited, will highlight many of the issues that President and Chelsea Clinton have long worked on—economic growth and empowerment, equality of opportunity, and health access.
Fifteen years ago, in 1998, President Clinton first traveled to Africa as President. This was the longest and most extensive trip to the continent made by a sitting American president, and was the first time a sitting president traveled to each of his six destinations. President Clinton’s trip followed a seminal visit that Chelsea and then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton made the year before. Since their initial trips, President and Chelsea Clinton have continued to build upon their longstanding commitment to Africa through the work of the Clinton Foundation, providing investment, opportunity, and health access to underserved communities. In July 2012, both President and Chelsea Clinton traveled to Africa to visit Clinton Foundation sites in South Africa, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Uganda, and in October 2012, Chelsea visited Nigeria for the launch of the Nigerian government’s Save One Million Lives Initiative to reduce child mortality.