Opinion | Say Hello to That New Spin Studio and Goodbye to Your Child Care

Opinion | Say Hello to That New Spin Studio and Goodbye to Your Child Care


As Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on businesses, among the hardest hit are in industries that rely on the ability of customers to safely show up day after day — and to pay for the privilege. They range from the $32.3 billion fitness industry to the $47.2 billion child care sector. Hopefully, your neighborhood spin studio will survive. Unfortunately, your day care probably won’t.

Why? Because — despite all of our lip service to child care as “essential” to the modern American work force — we’ve flatly refused to finance it like the public good that it is. We accept that child care is a necessity for most families in America and that when it comes to preventing the education achievement gap, preschool is just as important as kindergarten and the grades that follow it. We know that child care is core to gender equity in the work force and that it directly affects a family’s financial security and opportunity for upward economic mobility.

And if no change comes? Good luck muscling your way through the new normal.

Lauren Birchfield Kennedy (@laurenkennedyMA) is a co-founder of Neighborhood Villages, a nonprofit organization dedicated to child care sector reform. Katie Mayshak is the director of development at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.

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