Coronavirus child care crisis tops concerns as nation pushes to reopen. Parents ask: Who will watch our children? (


Lack of child care is quickly emerging as one of the biggest barriers to the economy bouncing back, says Patricia Cole, senior director of federal policy for Zero to Three, a nonprofit focused on early childhood development.

“Child care is foundational to our nation’s ability to recover from this crisis,” Cole said during a news briefing put on by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

COVID-19 has plunged the child care industry, 90% of which is privately run, into a crisis the likes of which the nation has never seen. 

Already child care centers were expensive to operate and stayed afloat on meager profits. Caregivers and other staffers, a third of whom have been laid off, often get by on poverty wages and public assistance, unable to afford child care for their own children.

Now child care advocates argue the nation’s already fragile system is at risk of collapse. They are lobbying for billions more in federal aid to ensure reliable child care is available to parents.

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