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May 13, 2021

By: Amy Armenia

For years, care scholars and advocates have argued for that care is a critical part of societal infrastructure, as important as roads and bridges. In recent months, talk of care as infrastructure has gained more purchase as we work towards economic and social recovery.

The New York Times cover story, Policymakers Used to Ignore Child Care. Then Came the Pandemic, features Nancy Folbre and Ai-jen Poo in a discussion of how talk of infrastructure has moved to the forefront of public discussion, and the ways it transforms our understanding of care and economy.

In their article, Yes, Care is Infrastructure, Traci Levy and Elizabeth Palley provide a clear analysis of the linkages between U.S. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and this understanding of the economic necessity of care in infrastructure.

Earlier this week, the Ford Foundation stepped in with assistance, leading a group of eight philanthropic organizations to form the Care for All with Respect and Equity (CARE) Fund, a $50 million, multiyear investment in advocacy and policy related to change.  As discussed on the Carework Network listserv, philanthropy is not sufficient for the long-term social change we hope for, but these funds can provide the assist that local organizations and movements might need to get their work started.

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