President Biden’s expansive $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan is facing mounting pushback as critics say proposed expenditures on child and elder care just don’t qualify like road and bridge repairs–but two Northeastern professors who’ve studied the recent shecession disagree.
“Acknowledgement that child care is infrastructure is great to see and has really caught on over the past 12 months,” says Jamie J. Ladge, professor of management and organizational developments at Northeastern. The pandemic highlighted a need for quality, affordable child care, as homebound families suddenly faced the demands of work as well as the minute-to-minute needs of their kids, says Ladge.
Nearly 2.4 million women left the workforce since last February as daycare centers shuttered, with many pointing to a lack of child care as the reason.
“Juggling child care and work just became more and more unsustainable. It’s not that these mothers were opting out of work so much as they were pushed out because they couldn’t afford to do both,” says Alicia Sasser Modestino, associate professor of public policy, urban affairs and economics at Northeastern.