Child care providers and employees have kept our economy going during a time when the government, businesses and families have been focused on COVID-19 “rescue.” Now, as we move to “recovery,” policymakers, influencers, business leaders and philanthropists have all recognized the importance of child care — both for the short- and long-term prosperity of our economy.

Access to quality child care is a critical step to provide every child a strong start in life, and parents are currently struggling to do so even now. With offices reopening, parents and families are clamoring to get their children back into child care and preschool. Sixty percent of parents report that they will need to change their child care situation in the next year. But parents should now expect longer waitlists and higher tuition due to staffing shortages.

Thankfully, the federal government has made major investments in child care through prior COVID relief packages such as the American Rescue Plan and the American Families Plan. Now as we look at the draft budget resolution and see yet another welcome investment to increase access, we need to look at the bigger picture and what our child care system needs, beyond just money to increase access. With the exodus of child care professionals and educators throughout the field, it is unclear who will fill these essential roles should access increase.

Read the full article about child care workers by Donna Housman at EdSource.