Governors Can Reopen All They Like. Without Child Care, Parents Can’t Work
By Melissa Boteach
Unfortunately, in the last two months, many child care providers were forced to close by either a lack of attendance, concern for the safety of their own workers or both. These providers operate on razor-thin margins and, back in March, nearly a third of providers said their businesses would not survive a closing lasting two weeks. One in five said any closure of any length would force them to close their doors forever. Pair this with decades of disinvestment, and it’s the perfect recipe for a child care crisis in nearly every community as economies begin to reopen.
Despite these facts, sustaining the nation’s child care providers has not been high on the to-do list for this Congress. While companies like Boeing have asked for a $60 billion bailout, the entire child care sector received just $3.5 billion in dedicated funding. New research from the Center for Law and Social Policy and National Women’s Law Center shows it will take at least $9.6 billion a month to both ensure care is available for frontline providers today and that we have a system to come back to tomorrow.
These dynamics threaten to exacerbate existing gender and racial disparities, carrying long-term consequences for the economic stability of women, and particularly women of color, who are overly represented in low-paying jobs.
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