Care Can’t Wait: Biden Administration Signs Bold Executive Order to Invest in the Care Economy

Care Can't Wait


Care Can’t Wait Coalition Applauds the Biden Administration for the Bold Executive Order to Invest in the Care Economy

WASHINGTON D.C. – In response to the Biden Administration’s executive order, which is the largest set of executive actions on care in history, the Care Can’t Wait Coalition issued the following statement:

“The Biden Administration is, once again, making substantial progress to improve care in this country. Today’s executive order includes over 50 directives that powerfully utilize the administration’s clear authorities to strengthen our care infrastructure for our families, our loved ones, the economy, and our future.

“The Care Can’t Wait Coalition applauds the White House for its extraordinary work to ensure that care is at the forefront of federal policymaking. This executive order ensures systemic change for care workers, people who receive care, and caregivers. Moreover, this executive order makes clear that the Biden Administration understands care infrastructure is the foundation that individuals and families need, is how our communities thrive, and is the work that drives the economy as a whole.

“A comprehensive care infrastructure is not only critical to our economic resilience but is also key to building a sustainable future where everyone can thrive. Investing in all aspects of the care economy — child care, paid leave, home- and community-based services, and direct care work — is what people across the country need and deserve.

“Today’s announcement is an important step in embedding care in all aspects of federal policymaking. The Care Can’t Wait Coalition, care advocates, and caregivers look forward to continuing to work with the Biden Administration and Congress to make sure that care is accessible, affordable, and attainable for everyone in the U.S.”

Statements from Care Can’t Wait coalition members:

“Today is a great day for child care,” said Jessica Sager, CEO of All Our Kin. “It takes steely determination to dig out of a crisis, and this Administration continually demonstrates the drive to do so. It will take laser focus and unwavering energy to turn the provisions of the Executive Order into real change for child care educators and families; we will be there every step of the way to ensure that it happens.”

“The President’s move to support caregivers and the families they support shows that this administration is listening to the demands of working caregivers,” said Josephine Kalipeni, executive director of Family Values @ Work. “This is a significant win for our Network who has worked hard to ensure that the priorities of working families remain a priority for this Administration. We also know that without paid family and medical leave, and paid sick and safe days, our care workers’ needs are not fully met. The President cannot act alone. I fully expect that Congress will also act to demonstrate to their constituents that they care about their lives and needs.”

“Families like mine know firsthand the joys and challenges of caring for our disabled children. We are grateful President Biden understands the urgency of our country’s care crisis and has signed this historic Executive Order to recognize and support family caregivers, people with disabilities, and long-term care workers,” said Elena Hung, co-founder and executive Director of Little Lobbyists.

“Time and time again, President Biden has demonstrated his commitment to ensuring working families have the tools and opportunities they need to build a better life,” said Sondra Goldschein, executive director of the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. “This is the most comprehensive set of executive actions related to care in our nation’s history, and will undoubtedly improve the lives of care workers and families across the country by making things like child care and long-term care more accessible and affordable.”

“President Biden’s Executive Order today on care is historic: it uses every tool in the administrative toolbox to make high-quality care more affordable and accessible, as well as support care workers and family caregivers. The action underscores the administration’s deep commitment to building a care infrastructure that has never existed in the United States, but which families of all backgrounds desperately need. Now, it’s up to members of Congress to take the same bold, creative approach to build a domestic care economy that truly values care and caregivers,” said Julie Kashen, century foundation director of Women’s Economic Justice.

“Today’s announcement was made possible by the women and women of color care workers who refused to back down in their demands for expanded care access and good union jobs,” said Mary Kay Henry, international president of the Service Employees International Union. “President Biden heard us when we said care can’t wait, and today, we celebrate a major step forward toward building a stronger care infrastructure. It’s time for Congress to follow suit and deliver what families truly need: an investment in care work and care workers to build a stronger future for all of us.”

“The executive order the Biden/Harris administration issued today is bold, transformative, and badly needed,” said MomsRising Executive Director and CEO Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. “At a time when millions of families cannot access or afford the child care, elder care, and/or disability care we need, these measures will support moms, family caregivers, care workers, businesses, communities, and our economy. Now we call on Congress to pass comprehensive paid family and medical leave that covers all working people; make serious investments in comprehensive, high-quality, affordable child and aging/disability care; root out wage discrimination; ensure all care workers have a pathway to citizenship; and raise the minimum wage. As we applaud the Biden/Harris administration, we also applaud the powerful, persistent work of our more than one million MomsRising members who have been raising their voices time and again, along with our many organizational partners, including the Care Can’t Wait coalition.”

“The Biden-Harris administration’s historic set of executive actions is a tremendous win for families and workers across the country,” said Ai-jen Poo, President of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. “This could not have come at a more critical time. As the care workforce crisis intensifies across the country and families continue to struggle to afford care, this bold and comprehensive investment – which would expand accessibility and affordability of care, and ensure care jobs are good jobs –  marks the all-in commitment we need to build the future we know is possible. Today, we take yet another step toward modernizing our care system – let this be inspiration to all decision makers and leaders across the country to center care in all that we do.”

“Child care, paid leave, and long-term supports and services are vital to a strong economy that serves all our families. President Biden’s announcement today is a crucial step in bringing federal support to millions of caregivers and the families who depend on them. Every single one of us needs care at some point in our lives. It’s time for our policies to recognize that care is foundational to our society. The people providing care to children, seniors, and people with disabilities are overwhelmingly women—disproportionately women of color and immigrants—who have been undervalued and underappreciated for too long. That’s why we particularly appreciate the executive order’s focus on job quality among caregivers. The Biden-Harris Administration is doing its part; Congress should step up and provide the funding necessary to support a comprehensive care agenda,”said Indivar Dutta-Gupta, president and executive director, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

“We commend the Biden Administration for its bold leadership and commitment to this vital issue. There is no denying that our nation’s child care system is broken and in need of extraordinary efforts to guarantee every baby has the opportunity to access high-quality child care that will prepare them to learn and grow. In the absence of Congressional action, the Administration is leveraging the significant resources of the federal government to identify solutions that can bring much needed relief to families, caregivers, and early educators now. We call on Congress to work with the Administration to build on these executive actions. A first step is continuing to support investments that sustain child care supply and lower costs for families, including the stabilization funding expiring this year, while working towards enacting comprehensive policies to guarantee access to high-quality child care and early learning opportunities,” said Miriam Calderón, chief policy officer at ZERO TO THREE.

“We eagerly welcome President Biden’s Executive Order directing federal agencies to work toward making child care and long-term care more accessible for all families,” said Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “With over 50 directives included in this order, it is clear that the Biden Administration understands the magnitude of our country’s care crisis and is ready to use every tool available to help fix it. Families and caregivers have endured the burden of trying to work in a system that is simply not built to support them for far too long and we look forward to seeing the positive change that will come from this order.”

“President Biden’s executive order is an important first step to delivering on his campaign promise of bold action supporting care workers and expanding access to care for the millions of women across America who helped elect him to office. It is an acknowledgement that women are the largest, most influential voting bloc. This investment in care also means that caregivers, who are predominantly young women and women of color, are closer to equal pay, safe work conditions, and fewer impossible choices between work and their families. We’re hopeful that the president will remain committed to showing that our government doesn’t take women for granted and representing the will of voters, an overwhelming majority of whom support a national paid family and medical leave policy,” said Jess Herrera, communications and marketing director of Supermajority.

“A Better Balance applauds President Biden for announcing a historic set of executive orders to improve the accessibility and affordability of childcare and long-term care in our nation and improve the lives and livelihoods of care workers and family caregivers. For too long, our inadequate care infrastructure has meant that millions of workers who are providing paid and unpaid care to children, elderly individuals, and other loved ones lack the tools and resources they need to thrive. These investments in care will play an important role in advancing economic, gender, disability, and racial justice in the U.S., as women of color disproportionately shoulder both paid and unpaid care work,” said Sherry Leiwant and Dina Bakst, A Better Balance co-founders and co-presidents. “As an organization founded on the principle that every worker deserves to care for themselves and their loved ones, without risking their health or economic security, we thank the Biden-Harris Administration for again demonstrating its deep commitment to working families. These executive orders will help to build a stronger foundation of support for care in our country, and send the message that the work of providing care is valuable and essential. We look forward to continuing to work with the President and Congress to build on this progress and pass legislation to guarantee paid leave for all, universal paid sick time, fair and flexible scheduling, and the other policy supports workers caring for themselves and their loved ones need.”

“Today’s executive order is the largest set of executive actions for care in history and will create systemic improvements for our country’s care infrastructure, reflecting just how much care is now recognized as the heart of our economy, as a job-enabling industry, and as the human experience that connects us all,” said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of Caring Across Generations. “This unprecedented and historic executive order shifts the way the federal government conducts its business by leveraging the knowledge of care advocates, investing in data-proven ways to improve access to care, and supporting the work of care so it is both visible and valued. The Biden Administration is doing everything within their executive power to improve the care economy in this country because they have heard our calls and seen the growing power of the care movement across the country.”


CARE CAN’T WAIT is a coalition of organizations, stakeholders and advocates committed to building a comprehensive, 21st century care infrastructure — that means robust investments to expand access to childcare, paid family and medical leave (PFML), and home- and community-based services (HCBS), and ensure good jobs for the care workforce. The coalition is led by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO); AAPD, Be A Hero; Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy; 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); Supermajority; The Arc; and ZERO TO THREE.