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Child care closures could prove catastrophic for women’s careers


The new coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of U.S. businesses to close, leaving owners with uncertainty and fear over whether they’ll recover — or even reopen — once the virus has run its course.

One industry — one often critical to the professional success of women — is not exempt in this case.

Facing closures and declining enrollment, some 60 percent of licensed child care providers have closed during the pandemic, a survey from the Bipartisan Policy Center found last month. At least 1 in 3 have reported they may have to close permanently if government aid is not allocated to the industry.

When faced with the reality of whether their child care center will reopen, many parents — and working moms especially — don’t know what they’ll do should it happen.

What is likely to happen, economists predict, is the responsibility of child care will fall back on mothers.

Single mothers will be the worst affected when the country reopens with fewer child care providers and schools still closed, and couples may have to make tough decisions regarding who stays home with the children.

That will also probably be Mom, economists predict.

Women already bear the brunt of most child care at home — 13.7 hours compared to men’s 7.2, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And women are also more likely to ask for a permanent remote position or quit their jobs altogether.

Read more via Business Insider

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