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Fri Jul 1, 2022, 02:23 PM

Child care key to fixing the U.S. labor shortage

By Elliot Haspel / Special To The Washington Post

Just how bad is the U.S. child-care crisis? Harrowing stories have emerged of parents lining up overnight or sleeping in parking lots in hopes of nabbing day-care or preschool spots. For the strained parents of older children, shortages of lifeguards and camp counselors have increased the stress this summer. And this past week, Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth abruptly canceled its residential program in Pennsylvania.

The common denominator is a lack of public investment causing huge scarcity in the child-care sector. That scarcity, in turn, is keeping parents — especially mothers — from full participation in the labor force, exacerbating the labor shortage.

Even before the pandemic, the United States ranked 32nd out of 40 industrialized nations for employment of mothers of young children, and below average for those with minor children of any age.

The national unemployment rate is 3.6 percent, with several states hitting all-time lows. There are almost two job openings for every unemployed individual. While this is excellent news for those seeking work, the impacts are being felt across the country as airlines and other businesses struggle to stay adequately staffed and supply chain breakdowns keep the inflation fire stoked.


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Fri Jul 1, 2022, 02:45 PM

3. I think it is actually worse than that

As much as there are many reasons for the work-from-home-trend, one of them is to mask our utter failure to support families.

Many people who are working from home are actually doing so to avoid childcare.

I can't tell you how many meetings have been interrupted by children in the background

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