SSN Commentary

Pennsylvania Families Need Support Finding Quality, Affordable Childcare

Policy field

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Pennsylvania State University

Originally published as "Pennsylvania Families Need Support Finding Quality, Affordable Childcare," Penn Live Patriot-News," March 24, 2022.

President Biden made the case in his recent State of the Union address that lowering the high costs hitting American families is one of his top priorities. That includes finally making it easier for families to find affordable childcare and early education that meets their needs. And after two years of a pandemic that has revealed just how uneven access to reliable childcare is, change can’t come soon enough for Pennsylvania families.

Like many Pennsylvanians, we’ve faced challenges firsthand as working moms with young children. We both went over a year without childcare due to COVID-19 shutdowns and safety concerns, scrambling each day to negotiate job obligations with the needs of caring for young children. We bounced infants in baby carriers while we typed on the computer. Our kids’ cries interrupted Zoom meetings. When our children were able to return to preschool, we dreaded every email from preschool directors, fearing they might announce yet again that there weren’t enough teachers to open the next day.