Don’t Build Roads, Open Schools | The Atlantic

Source: Don’t Build Roads, Open Schools | The Atlantic, by Helen Lewis

Nurseries, day-care centers, and kindergartens have been badly hit by pandemic closures, but so have primary and secondary schools, which we should also count as child care. These are not just sites for learning, or places where children go to make friends and develop social skills. Schools are also what allow parents to go to work, earn wages, generate tax income, and contribute to economic growth. … Most parents want to have jobs, and very few couples can survive comfortably on one income anyway. State-provided child care, in all its forms, is what gets those people into work, as much as roads or railways.

In a society where the prime minister is asked whether he “helps” with changing nappies for his newborn child, the idea of child care as women’s (unpaid) work holds the issue back in political discussions. It’s not treated as a real job.