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date: 25 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Current child care policy in the United States is a potpourri of state and federal programs that fail to satisfy adequately child care’s multiple stakeholders’ needs. In this chapter, the authors describe the historical factors that contributed to the evolution of these policies over the past fifty years, along with a review of the dramatic demographic trends that have resulted in today’s high rates of labor force participation for mothers of young children. Next, an overview of the most critical economic effects of these policies is provided, in terms of maternal employment, child development, and regional economic development. The chapter concludes with a sketch of a broad policy proposal consistent with the current workplace realities that also would meet the needs of the various stakeholders.

Keywords: child care policy, child development, economic development, female employment, maternal employment

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