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Child care: A very vital aspect of workforce

Child care: A very vital aspect of workforce

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A lot of existing issues have come to the surface during the pandemic. One of those is the issue of Child Care. During the pandemic, the need of child care have been apparent especially on days when primary caregiver at home has to work long hours - mostly for those who are in the healthcare industry, while some has to undergo quarantine not only during COVID positivity situations but including those necessary quarantines due to requirement or exposures. A lot of parents are not able to afford it as they quit their jobs or have reduced  their work hours. Some child care government programs were also halted during 2019-2021 which added to the difficulty of availing such services.

Most families in the United States do not receive a lot of help from the government before they enter kindergarten. Even though 94% of fathers or two-thirds of mothers are working and receiving salaries, child care is still unaffordable to the 60% of the household families per the Treasury Department. So imagine how much more the situation is for low-income families who even though they are qualified are having a hard time getting federal support and they have less means to get one on their own.

One angle we also need to examine regarding Child care is not only its affordability or availability through federal support, we also need to look at the workforce that can provide such service. A lot of care workers quit their job during the pandemic due to exhaustion or have lost their jobs due to cost-cutting  or shutting down of some facilities.

Luckily, there are a lot of private organizations who pay attention to these needs. One organization who recently expressed boosting the child care benefits is Tesla Inc. Elon Musk, Chief executive officer of the organization said on his Twitter,

“Kids are worth it if at all possible. I’m planning to increase childcare benefits at my companies significantly.

 Hopefully, other companies do same.

 Also, Musk Foundation plans to donate directly to families.

 Hopefully, details to be announced next month.”

In Massachusetts, Tom Weber, leader of Massachusetts Business Coalition for Early Childhood education, helped push for improvements in the state’s child care system as he saw a shift in the business community during the pandemic.One of the coalition member, Seaman’s Bank lead by Lori Meads as CEO of the organization, pays 65% of their employee’s children which in turn help put the company to advantage in the talent war, Lori stated 

“We've been able to keep many employees because of it. The cost that you would spend on time and resources to train someone, it is far more beneficial to help them in this way and be able to keep them in the workforce. ”

Initiatives like these give us hope that Child Care is something our leaders would start taking seriously, not only within private organizations but even on the federal level.