Remarks by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo at the First-Ever National Child Care Innovation Summit

Remarks by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo at the First-Ever National Child Care Innovation Summit

Jun 28, 2024

Remarks by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo at the First-Ever National Child Care Innovation Summit
Fri, 06/28/2024 – 15:25

ICT Supply Chain
Investing in communities and workers


Friday, June 28, 2024

Office of Public Affairs

Gina M. Raimondo

Welcome to the first-ever National Child Care Innovation Summit. Now, it may seem unusual for a Commerce Secretary to be so focused on childcare. But I’m here because childcare is not only a social issue or a “women’s issue.” It is also an economic issue. In fact, I’d argue it’s one of the most critical economic issues affecting families, businesses, and communities today.

The lack of investment in our care infrastructure is costing us dearly. There’s a generation of Americans in their prime working years caught between their jobs and caring for children or elderly relatives. Finding affordable, trustworthy care for both my children and my mother was critical to my own career.

On a point of personal privilege, my mom passed about a year ago at 91, and today’s her birthday. For my sister, my brother, and I, she was the caretaker when our kids were little. She never got to have a career. She grew up in that generation where once she got pregnant, she was asked to leave her job. And she insisted, especially for my sister and I, “you girls have talent – you go, and your father and I will take care of the babies.”

It was so important to her that all three of her children had a chance to go for it and be productive members of the workforce and society and great parents. So, for me, it’s special that this summit would be today because it honors her, it honors family, and it honors everybody who’s helped somebody out as a caregiver.

My husband and I have been privileged to be in a position to access care. But that’s often not the case. We all know childcare costs can be exorbitant for families. Some families don’t even have facilities in their area.

The status quo is not working for families. It’s not working for employers, and it’s not working for our economy. Inadequate childcare costs employers $23 billion a year. And it’s not working for providers.

To address the childcare crisis, we need sweeping public investments in the care economy.

But let’s be clear – we need both short-term and long-term solutions because parents can’t afford to wait. It is all hands-on deck to develop new models that meet the needs of families, workers and employers.

It’s going to take all of us working together – federal and local governments, the private sector, care providers, and community stakeholders – to improve access to care.

We are joined by executives from some of the country’s largest corporations; small businesses owners; advocates and philanthropic leaders; economists; and providers. More than 40 states are represented in this room. This is a unique opportunity for us to drive real and lasting progress – together – on one of the most pressing economic issues before us. I’m excited to get to work. Thank you.


Gina M. Raimondo


Secretary Gina Raimondo
Workforce Development
Child Care

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