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Convergence Center For Policy Resolution

Convergence Collaborative on
SUPPORTS FOR WORKING FAMILIES

Coming together against a backdrop of historic polarization, this is the most ideologically diverse group convened to address family policy, focused on supporting the flourishing of low-to-moderate income families with young children.

The Vision

Today is a critical moment in history for American families. This initiative seizes on a significant opportunity for political, private sector, and nonprofit leaders across the ideological spectrum to step back and thoughtfully reassess what types of long-term investments and policies are best for their organizations and what success would look like in order to make it easier to raise children AND work in America. America can do a better job supporting working families, and indeed, we must.

The Problem

Simply put, it is too hard to raise young children in America today while also working. Improving support for working families with young children is at the forefront of our national conversation Most parents are in the labor force; however, workplaces and government policies have not caught up to help support working families in today’s environment. The need for consensus solutions is more relevant now than ever with historically high levels of polarization and divided government following the 2022 midterms.  

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Only 25% of families report living the american dream
American Compass Research

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In February 2022, about 39% of women with children younger than 5 said they had quit their jobs or reduced their hours since the pandemic began, up from 33 percent at the same time in 2021.
The NY Times

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Only 23% of civilian workers have access to paid parental leave.
US Dept of Labor

Ongoing Dialogue

In Spring of 2022, we conducted a comprehensive analysis on how we could better support working families, interviewing more than 60 of the nation’s leading stakeholders on family issues across the political spectrum and sectors, as well as hundreds of other diverse leaders.

Our research focused on the main challenges families face to: 

  1. Work and childcare 
  2. Obstacles for reform
  3. Areas of potential agreement and lines of conflict 

Blueprint Consensus SOLUTIONS

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Changing the Story:

Stories about raising children in America are often inaccurate, unhelpful, or pushed to the background. The story needs to be changed. When families flourish, we all flourish.

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Rethinking Cash Support for Families:

Low-to-moderate income families with young children should have more effective and easy-to-access cash support, while acknowledging fiscal realities.

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Ensuring More High-Quality Care Options for Children:

Parents should be able to make care choices for their children that align with their family needs and values and that support their children’s development. 

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Supporting Parents with New Children:

All parents should have the opportunity to bond with an infant or new child, while maintaining economic and job security.

Potential Impact

Some areas of potential impact that could result from the project and a subsequent implementation phase include:

Change the National Dialogue

We tackle the dividing lines in a way that makes the conversation a lot more rational and a lot less oppositional.

Change Public Policy Landscape

We impact federal policy to better support working parents and to help make America the best place to raise a child.

Empower Employers, Providers, and Funders

We empower employers with best practices for supporting working parents.

In the News

Convergence launches a cross-partisan action plan to support families with young children in America

Convergence Center for Policy Resolution released a new Blueprint for Action with consensus solutions for tackling deep challenges facing American families with young children. The Blueprint release will be accompanied by a public reception on Capitol Hill tonight featuring remarks from Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). The process of this Collaborative was featured in The New York Times article, by Jessica Grose, ‘Couples Therapy’, but for Politics.

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The New York Times: ‘Couples Therapy,’ but for Politics

In a December 13 op-ed piece, Jessica Grose wrote in-depth on the Convergence Collaborative on Supports for Working Families. The piece was full of optimism around Convergence’s methodology and the policies that this project aims to impact. Grose wrote: “There’s a group of people of all ideological backgrounds — social conservatives, progressive activists, budget wonks and lots of people in between — that’s been convening over the past year, and that gives me a bit of hope for family policy’s future. It also offers a road map for people who disagree vehemently on issues to have productive conversations and find points of connection.” Jessica Grose ended the piece by reflecting on her own experiences with others from different viewpoints: “I came out of observing the discussion mostly wishing that we could all have mediators like Fairman at our holiday tables. We can’t simply wish away the profound disagreements many of us have. But I’ll certainly be trying to ask more clarifying questions of people I don’t agree with. Quieting my rebuttal mind, as a professional opinion haver, will be a rough one, but I’m going to do my best, and I’m going to try to maintain as much good faith as I can muster. We’ll need it in 2024.”

Experts Across The Ideological Spectrum To Focus On Challenges Facing Working Families

In a new framing paper, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution outlined the focus for its Supports for Working Families project, a multi-staged convening of experts that will identify areas for nonpartisan collaboration to address some of the most intractable problems facing American families today. The project, which is funded in part by The Packard Foundation, will explore challenges around childcare, financial instability, and public policy. “In the wake of the pandemic, the challenges facing working families are more urgent than ever,” said Convergence CEO David Eisner. “Our collective success demands cooperative solutions to promote economic mobility and opportunity for the long term.”

Collaborative members

Gayatri Agnew, Senior Director and Head of Accessibility Center of Excellence, Walmart 

Rachel Anderson, Resident Fellow, Center for Public Justice  

Charles Aull, Executive Director, Kentucky Chamber Center for Policy and Research 

Leah Austin, President and CEO, National Black Child Development Institute 

Patrick Brown, Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center  

Caitlin Codella Low, VP of Policy and Programs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation 

Maureen Coffey, Policy Analyst for Early Childhood Policy, Center for American Progress 

Indi Dutta-Gupta, President and Executive Director, Center for Law and Social Policy 

Rachel Greszler, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation 

Lina Guzman, Chief Strategy Officer and Director of the Hispanic Institute, Child Trends 

Elisabeth Jacobs, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute  

Bruce Lesley, President, First Focus on Children 

Cassie Leyva, Strategic Business Development Director, Early Learning Ventures 

Aparna Mathur, Senior Manager, Economics, Amazon 

Josh McCabe, Director of Social Policy, Niskanen Center 

Wakisha Newton, Childcare Organizer and State Lead, Family Values @ Work 

Adrian Pedroza, National Executive Director, Abriendo Puertas 

Nicole Riehl, President and CEO, Colorado EPIC 

Sarah Rittling, Executive Director, First Five Years Fund 

Adrienne Schweer, Fellow, Paid Family Leave Task Force, Bipartisan Policy Center

Vicki Shabo, Senior Fellow, Paid Leave Policy and Strategy, Better Life Lab, New America  

Linda Smith, Director, Early Childhood Initiative, Bipartisan Policy Center 

Helene Stebbins, Executive Director, Alliance for Early Success 

Katharine Stevens, Founder and President, Center on Child and Family Policy 

Dana Suskind, Surgeon and Co-Director, TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health, University of Chicago 

Chris Towner, Policy Director, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget 

Kara Waddell, President and CEO, Child Care Associates 

Joe Waters, Co-Founder and CEO, Capita 

Tara Watson, Director of Center on Children and Families, Brookings 

Elanna Yalow, Vice Chair and Senior Advisor, KinderCare 

Haeyoung Yoon, Senior Policy Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance 

Testimonials

Program Funders

This project was made possible by generous funding from The Packard Foundation.

Interested in funding a project in the future?

Check out our donate page or contact our development team to learn more.

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