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OPINION: To solve the workforce crisis, America has to invest in child care

America’s economic recovery from Covid-19 is in jeopardy because our leaders are neglecting the needs of a key sector: child care. Without investment by state and federal leaders in child care, millions of American workers and thousands of small businesses will never get back on their feet.

Before the pandemic, many families — especially those with lower incomes — were already struggling to afford child care. Thousands of small child care businesses in the United States will lose employees or close their doors forever without federal support.

Researchers have found that even before the pandemic, 70 percent of nonworking parents with children under 5 were staying home to take care of their children, rather than earning extra income for their families.

Federal and state leaders’ failure to include the child care industry in our reopening strategy resulted in 336,000 child care workers losing their jobs this spring. The small businesses that employ them are key components of working communities.

Researchers have noted that when child care workers lose their jobs, they may create broader shifts in the labor market , affecting other working families who need qualified professionals to educate and care for their children.

We need to solve […]

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