By Martha C. White

Much of the concern about women’s waning labor force participation during the pandemic has been focused on the burden borne by mothers forced to choose between work and the supervision and education of their young children. Far less attention has been oriented towards the companies and workers within the industry itself, until now.

Advocates were cheered by the passage of the $1.9 trillion Covid-relief bill, signed by President Joe Biden on Thursday afternoon. The plan includes measures both specifically targeted to support the child care industry as well as to bolster the resources available to parents for child care.

“The child care sector has lost a significant number of jobs, making it difficult for women to return to work and care,” said C. Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

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