With New Jersey on the road to recovery and businesses scrambling to fill job openings, child care accessibility will impact just how many residents are able to return to work.
Necessary yet costly COVID-19 safety measures forced many child care providers to permanently close last year and left others struggling to stay afloat, making child care more inaccessible to families than ever before.
Mothers have been hit hardest by this lack of child care, with increased caregiving responsibilities often falling to women during the pandemic. Mothers had to leave the workforce at a rate of six times more than fathers, and many of the 1.4 million mothers who left the workforce have yet to return.
If our state cannot provide access to affordable, quality child care, many women will be unable to return to the workforce. This would leave businesses with fewer prospective employees and would exacerbate socioeconomic gender inequalities for years to come.
That’s why I sponsored three bills to support the child care industry during this difficult time. Two made $10 million in federal funds and $10 million in state funds available to support providers impacted by the pandemic, while the final measure appropriated $100 million to help revitalize the industry and award grants to struggling providers.
This funding will go a long way in helping the child care industry make it through this crisis. I am proud of these efforts and look forward to continuing to help New Jersey families access the services they need and deserve.
Assemblywoman Lisa Swain
This letter to the editor was originally published on TAPinto Paramus on July 26, 2021: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/paramus/categories/letters-to-the-editor/articles/we-need-to-improve-access-to-affordable-child-care-on-behalf-of-nj-businesses-parents-especially-mothers-4cb738eb-82ce-4c6b-baa7-e8d2cd1803a3