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  • Writer's pictureChildcare Connections

Without childcare, it will be a rough road to recovery


For parents, the ability to work full-time goes hand in hand with whether they have childcare.

And the uncertainty surrounding whether schools are going to open in the Fall doesn't just have parents, teachers and students nervous. It has economists worried, too.

If schools don't reopen, many parents may be forced to quit their jobs, according to a note from economists at Goldman Sachs. If parents stop working, that could stall the recovery.

Single parents, parents of young children and parents who can't work from home are the groups most at risk of leaving their jobs due to a lack of childcare, reports CNN Business' Anneken Tappe.

And there are a lot of working parents out there. Nearly a third of the pre-pandemic US labor force has kids at home, and about 15% of the work force falls into at least two of those three high-risk categories, according to the economists. That totals about 24 million people.

Last year, the gender split in the US labor force was roughly 50:50 women and men, Tappe reports. But the pandemic could shift the scales back in favor of men if women are the ones who are forced to leave their jobs to take on the additional childcare responsibilities. 

Read more about the toll the pandemic can take on working parents and the overall economy here.

Setting up a childcare facility in three weeks

One way businesses can help working parents juggle all their demands is to provide them with childcare.  

Early in the pandemic, biomedical and genomic research center Broad Institute surveyed its workers and found that caregivers were struggling to manage both their career and their children full-time at home.

So the institute did something about it.

Within three weeks, it partnered with Bright Horizons to open up a childcare facility for employees who were back in the office, as well as those still working remotely.

Not only does the access to care help employees be more productive and maintain a better work-life balance, but the kids are also benefiting.

"A huge number of parents said their child had been very sad and that when they went to the [childcare center] they got to be with little people their own age for the day," Frances Taplett, chief people officer at the Broad Institute told me.


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