The National Women’s Law Center is launching We Are the Backbone: Faces of a Care Nation, a national campaign to center the essential work of child care providers and the value of child care by shifting the narrative around care work from being a personal responsibility to public infrastructure.
Child care workers are the backbone of the economy. They have held us up while we have left offices bare and streets cleared. 92% of these essential workers are women and specifically, Black and brown women. We can’t talk about valuing care and opening the economy without prioritizing child care workers.
We Are the Backbone: Faces of a Child Care Nation honors the women who have held us up every day. This campaign is an ode to the everyday unrecognized heroes and features portraits of child care providers by photographer Lloyd Foster, which will be displayed in cities throughout the country this year. The photos feature providers at Child Care Center, ACCA Development Center, and Hopkins House, who have all been serving the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area for over 20 years combined.
Child care is a collective responsibility
- It takes a village to raise children. For too long, care work has been seen as an individual responsibility instead of a key part of our economic and social infrastructure. Just as we rely on bridges and roads to get us where we need to go, we rely on child care workers to have a functioning workforce, economy, and society.
- It’s time to recognize that when when it comes to the common good, we can find the funding. We can choose to provide quality child care and ensure all our families are able to thrive. We need $700B to create a child care system that meets the needs of children, families, communities and child care providers.
- When families do not have good care options they need, we see the impacts in the next generation of workers and our economy.
We can’t talk about care without including child care
If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that without child care, our families, our communities, and the economy would not function. We need to value care and the women—disproportionately Black, brown, and immigrant women—who provide it.
There is no working economy without child care.
About the Child Care Centers
ACCA Development Center (Virginia)
ACCA Child Development Center provides affordable, high-quality early education and developmentally appropriate care for children ages 3 months to 5 years in a safe, health, and diverse environment. The organization believes in the development of the whole child; that all children can learn; that children do best in engaging environments; that families and community are vital for children’s development; and that all children can become contributing members of society. As educators of young children, they are committed to advocacy for our children, families, and the profession of early childhood education.
Hopkins House (Virginia)
Founded in 1939, Hopkins House is a nonprofit, high-impact, community-based learning center for children, youth, and families. Serving communities throughout the Northern Virginia metropolitan area, the organization operates education enriched preschool academies for infants and children, summer discovery camps for adolescents, and a college and career development institute for teens and adults, that help build the foundation for 21st century achievement and success in the new global economy.
Sweet Potato Kids (Baltimore, MD)
Sweet Potato Kids is a High Quality Pre-school and Extended day interactive center in the heart of Baltimore, Maryland. We offer a full-day pre-school program, a Before/After Extended Day program with transportation provided. In addition, we do offer an all-day summer program for school age children. Sweet Potato Kids provides a safe, nurturing, and developmentally appropriate program which fosters active learning, supports the whole child, and a child friendly environment!