On April 28, 2022, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a goal to commit up to $50 million over five years, subject to the availability of funds, to the World Bank’s Childcare Incentive Fund to expand access to quality child care and early learning programs globally.
This goal furthers President Biden’s values-driven global infrastructure initiative announced at the Carbis Bay G7 Summit last year. The multi-stakeholder fund will generate at least $180 million over the next five years to support child care in low-and middle-income countries. Other partners include the Governments of Canada and Australia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Echidna Giving, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the LEGO Foundation.
USAID announced this partnership at an event on Incentivizing Investments in Global Child Care Infrastructure, hosted in coordination with the White House Gender Policy Council and National Security Council. Speakers, including First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Brian P. McKeon, USAID Administrator Samantha Power, Melinda French Gates, White House Gender Policy Council Director Jennifer Klein, the World Bank’s Mari Elka Pangestu, and child care experts, emphasized the importance of developing high-quality care infrastructure worldwide to boost child development, women’s labor force participation, and economic growth.
The Biden-Harris Administration is joining with partners to support care infrastructure given its potential to improve child development and health, women’s employment, business productivity, and overall economic growth. Investment in care infrastructure is especially important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused disruptions to education and care systems and exacerbated care needs around the world, which disproportionately fall on women—particularly those who are marginalized on the basis of race, ethnicity, caste, religion, or other factors. The lack of affordable and accessible child care options also leaves many children, particularly those who are already in vulnerable situations, in unsafe and unstimulating environments.
Through the U.S. government’s Advancing Protection and Care for Children in Adversity Strategy, USAID is committed to a world in which all children thrive within protective and loving families, free from deprivation, violence, and danger. Expanding access to quality child care and strengthening the capacities of children and their families are among the best investments a country can make to improve women’s employment, economic security, and enhance child development and opportunities for early learning.