Writing for Columbia University's Student Voices, Saba Rawjani noted the childcare crisis is a barrier to human development, collective wellbeing, and the future of the United States.
The lack of affordable childcare is also dragging down the U.S. economy and keeping would-be workers at home, contributing to a slower recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and challenging companies to find qualified employees.
Why exactly does the U.S. struggle to address its decades-old childcare crisis? Why is such a universally-needed service so challenging for parents to obtain - and afford?
Experts point out that America has addressed the childcare crisis before, and with good results. During World War II, as women flocked to war production plants by the millions, the Lanham Act helped fund childcare in communities with defense industries.
A 2015 White House report reflected that under this WWII-era funding, all families (regardless of income) were eligible for childcare for up to six days a week, and parents paid the equivalent of just $9-$10 a day in today's dollars.
Both parents and employers agree that the need for equitable, affordable, and accessible childcare has never been greater than today. Franklin County has recently addressed the crisis with the March announcement of a $23 million investment in childcare through its RISE initiative. Will other communities follow suit?
On May 25, the Columbus Metropolitan Club asks what's caused the childcare crisis, what's keeping it going, and how Ohio can fix it. Our panel will feature Elizabeth Brown, President Pro Tempore, Columbus City Council, Tony Collins, President & CEO, YMCA of Central Ohio, and Joy Bivens, Deputy Franklin County Administrator, Health and Human Services, with host Micah Walker, Trending Reporter, The Columbus Dispatch.