Putting Family Policy on the Governing Agenda

It’s time we saw support for child care and paid leave as central to both economic growth and family well-being.

For many people, economic policy brings to mind issues like taxes, trade, and interest rates—the subjects that dominate the financial news. Child care and family leave go into another basket typically conceived of as “women’s issues” and implicitly treated as irrelevant to economic growth and prosperity.

But this framing gets things badly wrong. About half of all workers are women, and women are the breadwinners or co-breadwinners in roughly two-thirds of families with children. Policies that affect the ability of women to work outside the home affect the ability of the economy to grow. Conversely, the failure to invest in such policies holds the economy back. And, of course, the same policies that would benefit women in the labor force would benefit men as well.

The above excerpt was originally published in The American Prospect. Click here to view the full article.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Katie Hamm

Vice President, Early Childhood Policy

Sarah Jane Glynn

Senior Fellow