Finding affordable care for her two young children was already a balancing act for Kirstie Basal-De La Cruz, but the pandemic left the Glendale hospital employee with limited options and steeper child care costs. According to Basal-De La Cruz, her child care costs of $1,167 a month jumped to a staggering $2,334, which forced her family to withdraw funds from savings to cover the expense. 

Child care has always been necessary to the function of our community but during the pandemic, we all discovered just how critical child care is to continuing essential business operations. Many essential workers were faced with the same predicament as Basal-De La Cruz, though not all of them had the same financial resources. It’s now clear that working families need not only the support of our local, state and federal governments to continue working, but also the backing of their employers. 

The need for child care is great. Throughout 2020, my organization, the Child Care Resource Center, had a waiting list of 40,000 eligible families with 75 percent of those families working primarily in health care and other essential services. In addition to the nearly 41,000 children we were already providing with subsidized care, CCRC was able to serve an additional 7,000 children through government funding.

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