Child care Problems Have Skyrocketed in the Pandemic

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A USA TODAY analysis of new Census data shows that Americans missed more work than ever before due to child care problems in 2020, and the burden was shouldered almost exclusively by women. 

The pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in our child care system, as any working parent will tell you. Unfortunately, though, the vast majority of the extra work has fallen to women, a disturbing-but-not-surprising analysis from USA Today reveals.

USA Today states that the number of women with child care-related absences in any month more than doubled from 2019 to 2020. Women accounted for 84% of all workers who missed work in the average month last year due to child care issues — a five-year high. The number of women with child care-related absences in any month more than doubled from 2019 to 2020. Women accounted for 84% of all workers who missed work in the average month last year due to child care issues — a five-year high. Men, too, missed more work to care for the kids. But the impact wasn’t nearly as severe, and their share of the burden actually decreased from previous years.

President Joe Biden’s coronavirus recovery plan calls for $25 billion to stabilize child care centers at risk of closing, and an additional $15 billion in child care aid for struggling families. These are a good start, but more is also needed to even the playing field for women, like paid sick leave, medical leave and fair wages.

Read more at USA Today.

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