America’s child care problem is an economic problem

In The News

“Families are not okay,” one expert says. It’s making the economic crisis way worse.

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Add to that parents needing and looking for jobs: More than 11 percent of women are unemployed right now

The difficulty of finding child care is already causing parents to drop out of the workforce and reduce hours. Meanwhile, millions of Americans, many of them parents, have lost jobs due to the economic crisis. Job losses have been especially pronounced among women, 11.2 percent of whom were unemployed in June, compared with 10.2 percent of men. Black and Latina women have also been disproportionately affected, with unemployment rates of 14 percent and 15.3 percent, respectively.

And many parents, especially moms, won’t be able to take new jobs if they can’t get reliable child care. “As we think about what’s it going to take for women to reenter the workforce,” Nicole Mason, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, told Vox, “that’s when we’re going to start to see that there’s some critical challenges, most of them related to care, that women will have to overcome, before they can not only reenter the workforce but also sustain employment.”

And while parents have been hoping for some relief in the fall if schools and child care centers reopen, things may be about to get worse rather than better.

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