Child Care

Quality, affordable child care for infants and toddlers

No family should pay more than they can afford for the child care they need and their baby deserves. 

Child care is an essential building block in the foundation of our families’ and nation’s future. Access to affordable, high-quality care ensures parents can go to work and school confident that their babies and toddlers are receiving equitable, nurturing early learning experiences.  

Our country’s fragile, underfunded child care system is falling short of what babies, families, and child care providers need to thrive and our economy needs to stay strong. Robust federal funding is needed to prevent the child care system from collapsing entirely, and to strengthen it so that:  

  • all families have access to high-quality programs where and when they need them;  
  • providers are well compensated for their skills and receive the supports that they need; and 
  • babies and toddlers arrive at school ready to learn and prepare for future success. 

When parents lack safe, high-quality child care, they either can’t work or go to school or risk leaving their children in poor-quality or unsafe settings. Learn more. 


Take Action

Act now to make affordable, high-quality child care a reality for babies, toddlers and families across the country. Tell Congress to fund child care to reduce costs and waitlists and ensure providers are paid a living wage. #ThinkBabies 

Meet baby Maverick and our other 2024 Strolling Thunder babies


Over 63% of mothers with infants and toddlers are in the labor force.


Fewer than 4.6% of families with low or moderate income have access to child care assistance through the Child Care and Development Fund.


Two-in-three (64%) parents say federal policymakers need to do more to address challenges experienced while raising an infant or toddler.

Legislation At-A-Glance

The Child Care Stabilization Act 

Emergency funding that was used to support the child care system during the pandemic expired on September 30, 2023, which could lead to millions of children losing child care and thousands of child care providers closing. This bill would provide the short-term funding needed to keep the child care system from collapsing, although more comprehensive solutions like the Child Care for Working Families Act are necessary for long-term sustainability.

The Child Care for Working Families Act 

This comprehensive bill would ensure families have access to quality child care options that meet their diverse needs and support their children’s healthy development. Under this bill, no family would pay more than 7% of their income for child care, with particular attention to the need to invest in and build a supply of high-quality infant and toddler care. It would also provide increased access to training and professional development and increased compensation for the early educators who do the critical work of caring for our young children.

What these bills could mean for babies:

More families across the country would have access to high-quality, affordable child care. This would provide more babies and toddlers, including children with disabilities, with the developmental support they need to arrive at school ready to learn and prepared for future success.

Advocacy Tools & Resources

Child Care Advocacy Toolkit: Use these tools to urge your policymakers to Think Babies and make quality, affordable child care a reality for all working families.

State of Babies Yearbook: 2023: Use national and state-by-state data on the well-being of infants and toddlers to call on federal, state, and local policymakers to improve outcomes for babies and families.