Is this finally the moment Americans get universal child care?
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We don’t need to tell you America has a child care problem. Many of you can feel it. We certainly can; one of our producers changed a diaper during today’s taping.
Women’s workforce participation is at a 30-year low, in part because so many are busy caring for children at home during the COVID-19 pandemic and taking on a disproportionate amount of other domestic work. With virtually no public child care, parents are left with a patchwork of options, and they’re not cheap.
COVID-19 has thrown this problem into sharp relief, but it’s not a new one. Sonya Michel wrote about it 22 years ago in “Children’s Interests/Mothers’ Rights: The Shaping of America’s Child Care Policy.”
“I thought, like many first time authors, that once my book was published, everybody would see the light, and the policy would change immediately,” she said. “For some strange reason that hasn’t happened.”
On today’s show, we’ll talk with Michel, a professor emerita at the University of Maryland, about the history of government-sponsored child care in this country, its economic benefits and whether the new, $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill could actually bring about long-term change.
Later, we’ll go deep on the relief bill and its global economic effects. Plus we hear from listeners about zombie apocalypse range anxiety and the woman who helped get us to Mars. Finally, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky answers the Make Me Smart question.
When you’re done listening, tell your Echo device to “make me smart” for our daily explainers. This week we’re introducing you to a bunch of incredible women: Sarah B. Cochran, Dolores Huerta, Kim Ng and more. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! You can find the latest issue here.
Here are links to everything we talked about on the show today:
- “A workforce crisis hurting women, especially mothers” from Marketplace
- “Coronavirus is pushing women out of work” from Make Me Smart
- “Child tax credit 2021: When will families get more money? Here’s what you should know” from CNet
- “Powell Says Better Child Care Policies Might Lift Women in Work Force” from The New York Times
- “More parents leave jobs to care for children” from Axios
- “Mothers Are Regaining Jobs, Even While Shouldering Pandemic Burdens at Home” from The New York Times
- “EU Seeks to Double Share of World Chip Market by 2030 in ‘Digital Sovereignty’ Drive” from The Wall Street Journal
- “Some tribes are getting help narrowing the digital divide” from Marketplace Tech
- “Katie Porter Says Biden’s Relief Plan Doesn’t Do Enough for Single Parents: ‘Makes No Sense’” from Newsweek
- “Women Dominated Beer Brewing Until They Were Accused of Being Witches” from Smithsonian magazine
- “Biden stimulus will boost global recovery from Covid, says OECD” from Financial Times
- More on Patricia Ann Straat and her book “To Mars With Love” from the Baltimore Sun
- “Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky says post-pandemic, cities might actually want the company around” from Marketplace Tech
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