How a national child care policy could help struggling parents

A woman on her computer.
A substitute teacher works from her home due to the coronavirus outbreak in Arlington, Va. The pandemic has brought a sharper focus on the challenges working parents face in America.
Olivier Douliery | AFP via Getty Images file

Between remote working, distance learning and an affordable child care shortage that predates the pandemic, American parents are feeling squeezed. 

That burden is hitting working moms especially hard.

Right now women are leaving the workforce or cutting hours at a rate that’s four times higher than men.

Each woman leaving the workforce isn’t necessarily a mom, but those who are cite a number of reasons for leaving their paid positions. 

On top of a shrinking but persistent gender wage gap, mothers still manage a disproportionate amount of work at home. 

Over the years, both Republicans and Democrats have come up with child care policy ideas, but little progress has been made at the national level.

Tuesday at 9 a.m., MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with two experts on the financial impact working parents have on the economy and the plans being discussed to help them. 


  • Haley Swenson is deputy director of the Better Life Lab at New America.

  • Sarah Jane Glynn is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where she focuses on economics, women and work.

    To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

    Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS

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