Building Support for a Robust and Equitable Care Economy Infrastructure

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At some point, every one of us will need care or need to provide care. The care economy — historically undervalued and underfunded — is an intersectional and intergenerational issue encompassing child care and early learning, paid leave, long-term services and supports for older adults and people with disabilities, and supports for paid care workers, including higher wages, benefits, and workplace rights and protections.

Over the past three years, we have seen a President pushing a comprehensive care agenda, unprecedented federal pandemic-relief investments in care, vital state level progress, and sustained national and local media attention on care issues. This forward movement on the care economy resulted from a combination of coalition work, organizing, communications savvy, and advocacy supported by diverse funders over many years, and the catalyst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 allowed us to witness the extraordinary contributions of caregivers and exposed the failings of our nation’s care policies, especially for communities of color. Important work is happening across the country to shape the national dialogue and change the way we think about care. Now is the time to transform public thinking and build support for a robust and equitable care infrastructure.

Policy progress on care policies requires a major shift in values and cultural conditions that disrupts oppressive systems. Addressing care as a systemic, societal, and communal responsibility using narrative-change strategies will pave the way for seismic cultural, political, and economic shifts in the United States.

With support from the Care for All with Respect and Equity (CARE) Fund, a group of six philanthropy support organizations (PSOs) – Asset Funders Network, Economic Opportunity Funders, Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, Grantmakers In Aging, Grantmakers In Health, and Disability & Philanthropy Forum –collaborated to develop a national landscape analysis of narrative change and strategic communications efforts across the care economy, including child care and early learning, paid family and medical leave, and long- term services and supports for older adults and people with disabilities, with a focus on users of care, paid care workers, and unpaid family and friend caregivers.

On October 26, 2023, we were joined by over 200 partners, funders and care economy advocates to share the results of a lanscape analysis on care economy narrative change projects, and a publicly accessible table of organizations and initiatives focused on care economy narrative change.




Photo credit: Asset Funders Network & Economic Opportunity Funders Brief: Why Care About Care? Our Economy Depends on It

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