Pandemic-era federal subsidies for childcare came to an end last weekend, and, as a result, 220,000 providers that depended on the program lost crucial income.
It’s a huge setback for women workers, said economist Dr. Alicia Sasser Modestino, Research Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University. Sasser Modestino has done extensive research into the impact of childcare on the workforce, and said that the funding stoppage comes just as women are hitting an important milestone.
More women are in the workforce now since before the pandemic, she said, a direct result of the 2021 $24-billion American Rescue Plan, which expired this month. In January 2020, women had just exceeded being half of all workers in the workforce, Sasser Modestino said, a benchmark that had never been seen before.