If We Want More Employment, Fed Says We Must Help with Child Care… Should We?

Deciding on child care for young children is rarely easy. Most parents do their best to cobble together a mix of friends, relatives and paid caregivers, weighing the costs and benefits.

The less income you have, the harder the choices.

Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren said that women, minorities and low-wage workers have been disproportionately affected by pandemic-related job losses and efforts to reopen the economy should include programs that improve job quality and make child care more affordable.

Rosengren said:

“Absent such an effort, many individuals will continue to be held back from participating in the labor market, with negative repercussions for the economy as a whole.”

Since costs do not decline on their own, the only way to make child care “more affordable” would be to push more of the cost onto the government, which means taxpayers.

Society benefits when workers participate in the labor force, but is it the job of the government to provide or assist with child care?

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