Groundwork: Child Care Provisions in Build Back Better Would Be “Win-Win” for Families, Economy

October 22, 2021 Groundwork Collaborative

Rakeen Mabud: “…what’s clear is that all eligible families would be guaranteed assistance…[would] benefit the *overwhelming majority* of US families”

As rumors swirl over cuts to the reconciliation bill, it’s important to set the record straight on a key piece of the Build Back Better plan: child care. The United States is woefully behind on child care along two dimensions: high costs for families and low wages for care providers, both of which would be addressed in the child care investments under consideration. As Groundwork’s Chief Economist Rakeen Mabud explained: 

“Caregiving is the too often invisible scaffolding that makes our economy run. We’ve ignored it for way too long, to all of our detriment. We have a shot to actually address this longstanding care crisis head on, so let’s not waste it.”

Read her full Twitter thread explainer here and email to learn more about the proposed child care policies in the Build Back Better agenda. 



  • Millions of women have been driven from the workforce due to a combination of job loss and an inability to pay for child care. In September, 309,000 women ages 20 and over left the workforce – the largest drop since September 2020. Today, women’s labor force participation rate is 57.1%, the lowest it has been since October 1988.
  • Women of color  and the families who depend on them  have borne the brunt of the pandemic. From poverty-level wages for paid care workers to a lack of affordable child care options for parents and caregivers, the pandemic has amplified long-running inequities. Women of color are disproportionately affected by these policies, as the sector is nearly 95% women and one in five child care workers are Latina. 
  • Strong care policies lead to a stronger and more resilient economy. Studies have shown that robust child care policies would significantly increase the number of women in the workforce and help address the current labor shortage. 


About Groundwork Collaborative

The Groundwork Collaborative’s mission is to advance an economic vision for strong, broadly shared prosperity and true opportunity for all. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter @Groundwork