This editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
It’s a sadly telling sign that amid all the protests and political pressure on states to reopen businesses and get people back on the job, there’s been little talk about making sure those returning workers have safe, reliable child care for their kids.
Child care is too often an afterthought for the nation’s political leaders. But you can’t have a strong, prosperous economy if a significant portion of the population can’t work. And parents of children too young to be left home alone can’t get back to work as long as schools, summer camps and day care centers are closed.
If the Trump administration, Congress and the nation’s governors are serious about restarting the economy, they need to figure out how to help child care providers reopen and stay open.
This is no easy job. Child care providers face unique challenges.
Child care providers operated on razor-thin margins before COVID-19; the extended closures have left many on the brink of collapse. Industry groups warn that without some kind of help, the nation could lose about a third of its child care capacity.
Activists are pushing the federal government to provide states funding to help closed day care centers pay their employees and cover the rent, insurance and other fixed costs so they don’t go out of business while waiting for the kids to return.