WBEZ brings you fact-based news and information. Sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on the stories that matter.America’s child care system is in crisis. Experts say it’s a failed business model. Parents can’t afford it, and yet, daycare providers are some of the lowest paid workers in the country. The problem is an old one - but there’s new energy in the debate over solutions. In part, because of the proposed funding for childcare outlined in President Biden’s signature Build Back Better legislation, currently facing roadblocks. But also because the pandemic highlighted how broken the system is.
Brenda Hawkins operates a small home-based daycare in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. She’s been taking care of kids for 24 years, but the pandemic brought new uncertainty and stress. She was able to keep her doors open, but works longer hours, without increased pay, to keep her kids healthy and safe. She has never considered leaving the business, but understands why child care workers are quitting in droves.
Elliot Haspel, author of Crawling Behind: America’s Childcare Crisis and How to Fix It, outlines how the system broke down these past few years and the ways the US could fix it.
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