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The COVID-19 recession has highlighted the critical importance of access to paid leave and to child care for households, businesses, and the broader economy. For those without access to paid leave and child care —more often low-income families, part-time workers, and single parents — evidence from before and during the pandemic points to worse health and education outcomes, enormous strain on financial resources, and reduced participation in the labor force. New commitments to make paid family and medical leave and high-quality child care accessible and affordable will be required to ensure our nation's economic recovery is broadly shared.
On Wednesday, May 12, 2021, The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution hosted a webcast examining reforms to federal policies around paid family and sick leave and early childhood education and care. The webcast featured framing remarks by Gina Raimondo, secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce.
The webcast also included a roundtable discussion with: Elizabeth Davis, professor, applied economics, University of Minnesota; Elena Spatoulas Patel, assistant professor of finance, University of Utah; C. Nicole Mason, president and CEO, Institute for Women’s Policy Research; and Michael Strain, director, economic policy studies, American Enterprise Institute. The discussion was moderated by Wendy Edelberg, director, The Hamilton Project.
The webcast event coincided with the release of two new Hamilton Project policy proposals that examine policy options to expand access to high-quality affordable child care and to increase paid family and sick leave coverage for all workers.
Robert E. Rubin
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary; Co-Chair Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations
Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce
Professor, Applied Economics, University of Minnesota
Elena Spatoulas Patel
Assistant Professor of Finance, University of Utah
C. Nicole Mason
President and CEO, Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Director, Economic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
Moderator: Wendy Edelberg
Director, The Hamilton Project, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution