The Pandemic Is the Perfect Time for a Parents Revolution

By Alissa Quart


Some—but far from all—parents benefited directly from the CARES Act set-aside of $3.5 billion, says child care expert Elliot Haspel, because many states temporarily waived copays for lower-income families already receiving child care subsidies. (By contrast, Delta Airlines alone received more from CARES than the entire child care industry.) But the Center for Law and Social Policy and the National Women’s Law Center estimate that a true stabilization package for the duration of the pandemic would cost $9.6 billion a month. Even that is a pittance compared with what is needed longer-term. A genuine universal child care system with high-quality care and solid salaries across the board would be more like a $70 billion annual proposition, according to Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others (Haspel and his ilk estimate it will cost much more: One Economic Policy Institute paper puts the cost between $337 billion and $495 billion).


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