The state of the childcare system was not perfect even before the coronavirus pandemic, but the coronavirus pandemic created additional problems. Importantly, it will be all but impossible to rebuild the U.S. economy without first repairing the childcare system.
It is worth noting that, fixing a childcare system is expensive. Interestingly, Joe Biden’s caregiving plan, includes universal pre-K, subsidies for low-to-moderate-income families, increased tax credits for families as well as better pay and benefits to childcare workers. The plan would cost an estimated $775 billion over 10 years. However, people need to think of this as a stimulus bill, not as a tax burden.
It is no secret that even before the pandemic, most women who are often the primary providers of childcare, could not afford to stay home with their children. Importantly, due to various obligations, millions of women left the labor force. It is hard to work from home when a person in many cases woman has to take care of children. People should keep in mind that, if women struggle to, or are not able to, return to work after Covid-19, it is evident that they and their families will be further harmed financially.
Economy and childcare system
Importantly, childcare workers are among the poorest-paid workers in the country in the U.S., earning a median income of $11.65 an hour. People should take into account that, government support for care is needed because it costs money to ensure that there is an educated childcare workforce. This is not the end of the story as the ratio of providers to children also needs to be sufficiently small to ensure the quality of care.
As stated above, the state of the childcare system was far from being ideal even before the coronavirus pandemic. The world’s largest economy suffered losses and it will be hard to rebuild the U.S. economy without a robust childcare system.