the issues

Law enforcement agencies nationwide face a vicious cycle of retirements, resignations, and fewer people entering the field. Women are not promoting and police morale is lower than ever. Child care in law enforcement must be a priority to make policing accessible to all.

Law enforcement is in a staffing crisis.

Agencies are reporting applications declining at alarming rates of up to 70%. Coupled with a recent PERF study showing a 45% increase in retirements and an 18% increase in resignations last year alone, we are in a crisis.

Angelie Hoxie with child

Women are not promoting.

Traditional strategies for recruitment frequently overlook an entire pool of potential applicants – women.

Overall, women make up less than 12% of full-time police officers in the U.S., with only 9% of women with children under six years having a career in law enforcement. Of those working in law enforcement, women hold only 3% of the top command positions.

Given the many complex challenges facing modern police agencies, the advantages of hiring more women, especially Black and Latina, have never been more apparent. However, women will inevitably remain under-represented at the current hiring rate unless traditional practices are changed substantially and innovatively.

The good news is that changes in quality-of-life benefits can dramatically impact the recruitment and retention of women police officers. Based on research and practical experience, there is every reason to believe that such changes will benefit women within the police profession, their male counterparts, the larger police organization, and the communities they serve.

Less than

of full-time police officers in the U.S. are women.
officers consider leaving their jobs altogether because of childcare stresses.
of officers reported leaving or missing work because of childcare concerns.

Childcare for law enforcement doesn't exist.

NLEF is working to change that by educating law enforcement leaders, elected officials, and philanthropists to address the national recruiting and retention crisis with immediate, tangible tools that actually impact an officer’s daily life.

Child care in law enforcement must be a priority to make policing accessible to all.

America's traditional childcare services need to meet the needs of the modern workforce and the unique needs of law enforcement. Current accessibility and affordability obstruct law enforcement families from utilizing traditional childcare centers. The lack of affordable, flexible, and quality childcare impacts our economy and society. And when it keeps cops off the streets, it even affects our safety.

The challenge of working at a demanding job while parenting makes childcare support not only a powerful recruiting tool but also a critical benefit for existing employees—enabling officers to work various shifts or overtime and allowing all personnel to stay on the job during school closures. Hard-working officers can focus better on their work without the stress of having to deal with babysitting or worrying that their children aren't well cared for.

The childcare crisis requires more attention and funding—and when it comes to law enforcement officers and their families—we don't have time to wait!

Police morale has plunged, retirements and resignations are soaring, women are not promoting, and applications are declining alarmingly. We are in a policing crisis and must align and champion tangible solutions to invigorate the workforce. Our nation's safety, security, and quality of life are at stake.

We have a solution.

The National Law Enforcement Foundation (NLEF) works at all levels  of law enforcement to cut through the childcare funding bureaucracy.

We are not simply providing childcare or tax credits. We are overhauling the accessibility with round-the-clock care, the affordability by giving half of market-rate tuition, and the lack of childcare teachers by increasing their pay.

We've designed this model with the mission to make the everyday life of a cop more habitable and the profession attractive to recruits, especially women. While many critical workforces need customized childcare, none impact our communities quality of life as law enforcement does.

Learn more about what we do

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