COVID-19 is changing the world of work – especially for women
June 17, 2020
By Amy Armenia

06/16/2020

We’ve long known about the critical importance of child care for working families and child development, and the challenges facing the U.S. child care system. Without significant public investment, parents struggle to find care that is affordable and of high quality, and the devaluation of this work means that child care providers rarely earn a living wage doing this critical labor.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved even more destructive to this fragile sector, with many child care centers unable to maintain payroll or cover rent and utilities. In this New York Times article, Claire Cain Miller covers a Democratic party proposal for a $50 million dollar assistance plan to help the industry survive, and enable working families to return to their jobs.

With the importance of child care more visible than ever, advocates are seizing the moment to call for a rebuilding of our child care system.  Hawaii’s Commission on the Status of Women has proposed a self described “feminist economic recovery plan” that includes free, publicly available child care for all essential workers.

In their New York Times opinion piece, Shantel Meek and Conor P. Williams argue that in the wake of COVID-19, we need to think about more than restoring access to child care. We need to think about quality and affordability of care, and work conditions for child care providers. They call for public investment and prioritizing children’s mental health and child care workers’ mental health.

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