American child care has long been a broken system, despite being a critical backbone of the nation’s economy and education.
When COVID hit and K-12 schools closed, many child care providers — suddenly deemed essential — kept their doors open. The federal government directed billions of dollars to the sector, and providers hoped the crisis would lead society to value them more and rethink the fragmented system.
But they’re still waiting for real change, as the expiration date on COVID-relief funds nears with no solution.
Against that backdrop, four experts discussed the issues behind America’s child care crisis and potential solutions during a session at the Education Writer Association’s 2023 National Seminar in Atlanta. They also shared tips for journalists covering the topic.