Leaning in with Child Care: A Discussion on Childcare Jobs and the Need for Quality, Affordable Care

child care kids and quoteJoin us on Thursday May 9th  at 12:00 in Washington, D.C. for the next discussion in our Working in America series.  The conversation, moderated by Catherine Rampell of the New York Times, will cover the challenges facing working parents in need of child care as well as ideas and policies for improving the quality of jobs in the early care and education industry.


Date:  May 9th, 2013  Time:  12:00-1:30 PM EST

Location:  The Aspen Institute in Washington D.C.

One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 700

Washington, DC 20036

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About the Event


In May, we will celebrate Mother’s Day, a holiday created by Americans to honor our moms and their influence in society.  With the presence of women with children in the workforce increasing, mothers are not only the glue that holds our homes together, but they are also the fuel helping to drive our economic recovery.  Two-thirds of women with young children now work and nearly half are the primary breadwinner within their family.  As more moms enter the workforce and “lean in” to build a successful career and household, however, the affordable, quality early care and education system their families need to lean on is noticeably absent.  The women and moms working in the early care and education industry also face significant challenges.  Low wages, few benefits and limited training or advancement opportunities are widespread in the early care and education industry, which contributes to high worker turnover, further eroding the quality of care.  In this event, speakers will discuss how we can have both an early care and education system that provides good jobs and quality, affordable care.


Speakers and Moderator

Susan Brenner, Senior Vice President of Education, Bright Horizons Family Solutions

Dr. Susan Brenner has been part of Bright Horizons Family Solutions senior management team for over twenty years. She was instrumental in the development and start-up of stand-alone back-up centers, and is a leader in the field of back-up/emergency care.  She was the Senior Vice President of Operations and now oversees Education at Bright Horizons.  Bright Horizons Family Solutions is a leading provider of early education and preschools, employer-sponsored child care, back-up care, educational advisory services and other work/life solutions.in the United States.  Bright Horizons has consistently been cited by Fortune magazine as of the top 100 companies to work for in the United States.  Dr. Brenner has her Doctorate in Leadership and Policy Studies from Temple University.

Denise Dowell, Director Early Learning and Care Programs, CSEA

Denise has worked in early childhood education for almost 30 years.  She has experience as a family child care provider, classroom teacher, center director, educator, and advocate.  Denise began working to unionize child care providers and teachers in 1997, when she co-founded the United Child Care Union and was a founding member of the Philadelphia Area Jobs with Justice Coalition.  As Coordinator of Child Care Providers Together, a project of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Denise provided support and technical assistance to AFSCME affiliates and served as national liaison to early childhood professional organizations and advocates. Denise currently directs the CSEA Early Learning and Care Program.  CSEA represents over 20,000 registered family, licensed group family and legally exempt child care providers outside NYC.  She earned a PhD in Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr. Her research, organizing, and policy work has focused on improving the quality of work and care in early childhood education.

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director, CEO, and Co-Founder, MomsRising

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner has been deeply involved in grassroots engagement and policy analysis for more than two decades. Started in May 2006, MomsRising is an on-the-ground and online organization with more than 1 million members, more than 750 contributing bloggers, and more than a hundred aligned national organizations working together to increase family economic security, to end discrimination against women and mothers, and to help ensure all children can thrive.  Rowe-Finkbeiner serves as board President of the MomsRising Education Fund.  In 2012, Forbes.com named MomsRising’s website one of the “Top 100 Websites For Women” for the third year in a row.  She has received numerous accolades for her work, including fellowships from the Rockwood Institute and the Hunt Alternatives Fund, awards from the Washington State League of Women Voters, and ParentMap Magazine. Her awards for writing include the Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism award for magazine writing, the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Award, as well as an award from the Independent Book Publishers Association.  Rowe-Finkbeiner is also a frequent public speaker, radio host, and an award-winning author of books, including The F-Word: Feminism in Jeopardy and The Motherhood Manifesto, which she co-authored with MomsRising co-founder and board President Joan Blades. She has written articles on a variety of topics, including women and families, public policy, motherhood, economic security, equality, health, civic engagement, and new feminism. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and has been interviewed about issues related to women and mothers, family economic security, and grassroots organizing by numerous international, national and local news outlets, including, CNN, The New York Times, Washington Post, Today Show, Good Morning America, NOW with David Brancaccio, To the Contrary an d BBC World Service.  Rowe-Finkbeiner is also the host of “MomsRising Radio with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner,” a new, weekly, hour-long show on 1480AM in Washington, D.C. and available on iTunes.

Lynette Fraga, Executive Director, Child Care Aware of America

Dr. Fraga comes to Child Care Aware® of America from Care.com, a global care company providing a forum for families seeking care support, where she served as Vice President of Early Care and Special Populations. While there, she supported the company’s commitment to identify care solutions for children with special needs, support military-connected families identify care options for their loved ones across the lifespan, and support the development of quality partnerships in the public and private sectors.  Prior to Care.com, Dr. Fraga was at ZERO TO THREE, the leading national nonprofit whose mission is to support the healthy development of babies and toddlers, where she served as the Chief Program Officer responsible for leading and managing the organization’s comprehensive array of programs and services. As a content expert on the social and emotional needs of infants and toddlers she played a key role in improving the quality and availability of training f or infant/toddler professionals within the Early Head Start and child care communities. Dr. Fraga also created and directed ZERO TO THREE’s Military Family Projects initiative that supports infants and toddlers in military families.  Early in her career, Dr. Fraga worked in the field of special education, subsequently taught young children and later used that foundation to coordinate and direct early childhood programs for the military. Throughout her career, she has been engaged and played leadership roles in early childhood development and mental health practice, administration, training and research. Dr. Fraga holds a doctoral degree from Kansas State University in Family Studies, a master’s degree in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma, graduate coursework in early childhood education at Cameron University and a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from the University of Arizona.

Catherine Rampell, Reporter, The New York Times

Catherine Rampell writes about economics for The New York Times, where she served as the founding editor of the Economix blog. Under her stewardship the blog was honored with an award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She has also received the Weidenbaum Center Award for Evidence-Based Journalism and is a Gerald Loeb Award finalist. In addition to her economics coverage, Catherine also writes theater reviews for The Times.  Before joining The Times, Catherine worked at The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, National Public Radio, The Village Voice, USA Today, NBC and various other news outlets. She grew up in South Florida (the New York part) and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton.

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