Paid Leave for All Joins More Than 50 Advocacy Groups Calling on Biden Administration and Congress to Make Big Investments in National Care Infrastructure
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC — Paid Leave for All, a member of the Care Can’t Wait coalition, joined Invest in
America, Care Can’t Wait, and more than 50 advocacy groups in an open letter calling on the Biden
administration and Congress to invest deeply in our national care infrastructure in upcoming
infrastructure packages, including enacting a comprehensive national paid family and medical leave
policy. The letter calls out this historic opportunity to bolster our workforce and strengthen our national care infrastructure as part of an equitable economic recovery.
Read the full letter below:
“It’s time for the Biden administration and Congress to deliver for women by investing in a family-friendly care infrastructure that works for the millions of people who need care and support, those who have had to leave the workforce to become unpaid caregivers, and for the paid caregivers who have been historically undervalued.
The cracks in our care infrastructure have existed for decades, but the pandemic brought them to the forefront. We lost generations of economic gains for women when the need to care for children and loved ones forced them out of the workforce. More than 2.3 million women left the labor force in 2020, more than 600,000 of whom were Black and 618,000 of whom were Latina.
At the same time, the workforce that provides care — most of whom are women, and up to 31% of whom are Black women — was on the front lines of the pandemic without adequate pay or support, and nearly one in six child care jobs that have been lost during the pandemic have not returned. These are the people we rely on to care for us from birth to the end of our lives, yet even before the pandemic, their wages were often not enough to care for their own families.
We now have the historic opportunity — and responsibility — to prioritize building an equitable, durable, family-friendly care infrastructure as a core part of rebuilding our economy. That means investing in affordable, high-quality child care and long term support and services for aging adults and and people with disabilities so that millions of unpaid family caregivers can return to their careers; creating millions of new care jobs and investing in those jobs to ensure care workers are paid family-sustaining wages, provided benefits, and a choice to join a union; creating an effective, inclusive paid family and medical leave program to allow all people to take care of themselves and loved ones in need; and updating our tax code to center women and communities of color, including permanently expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit. For undocumented care workers, it also means providing a pathway to citizenship to ensure that they have protections and a real shot at economic security and opportunity.
Making overdue public investments in our care infrastructure isn’t just good for women, it’s a critical part of the country’s economic recovery. Robust investment in the care sector would create millions of new jobs for the women hit hardest by this crisis, generate hundreds of billions in new economic activity, and allow millions of women who have been pushed out of the labor force to return to their own careers.
As Congress prepares to make landmark investments in physical infrastructure and digital infrastructure, they must recognize that care is also a vital part of our nation’s infrastructure, and the engine that keeps our economy going.
Now is the time to make bold public investments in our care infrastructure to build an equitable economic recovery that works for everyone.”
The Paid Leave for All campaign is a growing collaborative of organizations fighting for paid family and medical leave for all working people.
The #CareCantWait coalition is led by Caring Across Generations; Center for Law and Social Policy
(CLASP); Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap; Community Change & Economic Security Project Community Change; Family Values @ Work; MomsRising; National Domestic Workers Alliance; National Partnership for Women & Families; National Women’s Law Center; Paid Leave for All; Service Employees International Union (SEIU); The Arc; TIMES UP; and Zero To Three. Learn more about Care Can’t Wait here.