NPR’s recent podcast, What To Do About America’s Child Care Crisis highlights the struggles that early childhood educators and families face when navigating the current U.S. child care system. The podcast includes interviews with child care providers and teachers who share how their businesses have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, while highlighting how the child care system was struggling, long before the onset of the COVID pandemic.
One of the podcast’s guests, Elliot Haspel, a former teacher, a child and family policy expert, and the author of the book Crawling Behind: America’s Child Care Crisis And How To Fix It, offered insight into the problems inherent in today’s child care system, as well as pathways to potential solutions.
The biggest problem, Haspel explains, is that “child care is a business. It’s a failed business model because we have a product that costs more to produce than most of the customers who need it can afford to pay.” He advocates for solutions including expanding the child care tax credit, paid family leave, and a publicly-funded model for child care and pre-k. He notes that child care largely has been shown to have bipartisan support, because of the ways that it pays for itself and has a positive impact on the larger economy.
Finally, Haspel calls on big businesses to provide fiscal support for child care, similar to the way that taxpayers support k-12 education. He explains that business support of child care would benefit companies, employees, communities, and ultimately children.
Click here to find the full podcast.