Enough is enough, parents and caregivers are saying. We need high-quality, affordable childcare.
According to a new survey of Massachusetts employers by the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, 91% of 420 respondents said that their employees have expressed concerns about childcare and remote schooling, including:
- Balancing work with childcare and remote schooling responsibilities
- Accessing affordable childcare that meets fluctuating pandemic circumstances
- Handling stress brought on by the pandemic
Employers also have reason to be concerned. To succeed in business, nonprofit or government work, it helps to have a productive staff fully engaged in the vital roles they play. Yet employers report that many parents have expressed feeling “’exhausted, burned out, and overwhelmed’ at trying to do everything” during the pandemic, according to the report. Seventy-five percent of employers also expressed concerns that the pandemic is negatively impacting the careers of their female employees.
While COVID-19 has certainly created new challenges for parents and caregivers, the lack of high-quality, affordable childcare is a long standing issue. K-12 education is considered a universal right, yet early childhood education--which impacts students academic performance through elementary and secondary education--suffers from a dearth of government support and funding.
Here in Central Massachusetts and statewide, the pandemic has created an opportunity to address unmet needs. Let’s not miss out on our chance to create lasting change for young children.