Democrats have introduced a $ 50 billion relief bill in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, but a month later childcare providers and centers along with parents who need childcare are still waiting. The CARES law provided some money for block grants for child care and development and for the lead, and the HEROES law would provide more for block grants for child care and development, but that would still omit much of the industry. And although childcare workers are theoretically eligible for the paycheck protection program, many have not been able to get these loans, and the program will never meet their needs.
Even some Congress Republicans – mostly women – recognize the need for action. Sens. Joni Ernst and Kelly Loeffler (both facing challenging elections this fall) have proposed $ 25 billion for childcare workers. And Rep. Jackie Walorski recently explained the problem very clearly.
When daycare centers are closed, "parents can no longer work in all industries, which significantly slows our own economic recovery," she said. That means, "Childcare is the kind of smart investment that we should prioritize if we can safely reopen and rebuild the American economy."
While Congress is dragging its feet thanks largely to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, women are carrying an immense burden. For women in families with two incomes, this is a kind of burden – trying to do paid work while doing the lion's share of childcare. There are some very crappy men out there, but this is a structural problem, not just a matter of individual relationships. However, this is an emergency for women in families with two incomes. "In families run by single mothers, nobody often takes responsibility, ”wrote Ashton Lattimore from Prism last month. “The availability of childcare is all the more important, especially for colored mothers like Cecilia, who is Mexican, and for colored women more likely to be the main earner of their household or a co-earner. "
Practically everyone is struggling with the pandemic, but childcare shows us how uneven the challenges are. Women are affected more than men. Black women and other colored women are more affected than white women. And if it isn't fixed, the consequences are bad. "We have to stabilize the childcare system, otherwise we will not have a robust economic recovery, ”said MP Suzanne Bonamici. "If this stuff doesn't go into effect, women are more likely to stay at home," said Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute – and if women who have worked before are urged to stay at home while hundreds of thousands of them are leaving jobs an industry dominated by women, and with many black, Asian and Latin American workers, decades of equality efforts are being wiped out.