The concept of the American family unit still centers around the notion that child care is supposed to be borne on the backs of each parent, who’s expected to make the necessary sacrifices to provide care. But finding child care for working families isn’t just a personal dilemma; it’s also a policy problem, and an economic one. If parents are seen as the first and—in many cases—the only line of defense when it comes to taking care of children, how are they supposed to get down to work?
“When it comes to infants and toddlers, we tend not to think that we have a right to pay with public funding. But in most high-income and highly developed countries, it’s part of their education and workforce development,” said Barbara Gault of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.