September is flying by and I have to say the weather this month has been A+. I had some stops recently in Boston, New York City and Philadelphia and it has just really been my favorite seasonal time on the East Coast. Now I know it’ll be too cold for me very soon, so, oh well.
First, a non-midterm story! I wanted to understand how the pandemic affected the childcare industry, which was already struggling before Covid-19. I also wanted to look and see what’s next for childcare reform, after advocates lost out of getting childcare subsidies included in the federal reconciliation package.
It’s really hard to understate the challenges right now for both parents of young kids, and workers in the childcare industry. One new 2022 wrinkle, though, is inflation, which is making everything more expensive for families.
And on top of that, big corporate retailers like Target, Amazon, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut are luring childcare workers away, offering them higher wages and benefits. Big chains are working hard to recruit new staff in the tight labor market, and a lot of these jobs are just simply easier than caring for a handful of toddlers! Most childcare programs can’t compete, and their family clients are already breaking the bank to send them now. It’s a real market problem and points to the need for government intervention. It’s also hobbling parents’ ability to get back to work, and resume normal life. Plus having tens of thousands of kids on waiting lists is not good for the social and emotional development of kids.
(I will say, the number of people who responded to this article with something like, “well women should be home taking care of their kids anyway” and “if you can’t afford kids don’t have them” was really grim. Not to mention we’re making it harder for families to not have kids in the U.S. when they don’t want to..)
Read: The child care crisis just keeps getting worse
2. I also have a piece about the two big labor ballot initiatives this November — in Illinois and Tennessee.
In Illinois, voters will decide if they want to codify collective bargaining rights in their state constitution, and if they want to ban “right-to-work.” They would be the first state to do this. Down in Tennessee voters will have an opposite question, whether to codify “right-to-work” in their state constitution. They would be the tenth state to codify RTW, but the first once since 2016. I give some background to the various amendments and history of right-to-work, and a little overview of the economic research on the policy.
Read: Two states, two visions for the future of labor
That’s it for now…I’m in the middle of a story right now I’m getting looking forward to sharing with you all, hopefully in the next week or two.
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