By Alisha Haridasani Gupta, The New York Times, April 29, 2021
The last time America came close to creating a national child care system was in 1971. There were a total of 15 women in Congress. And a young Joe Biden, then a councilman in New Castle County, Del., was beginning to consider running for a Senate seat. But President Richard Nixon vetoed what was a largely bipartisan effort, worried that it would have “family-weakening implications.”
Now, as president, Mr. Biden plans to vastly expand access to care for infants and toddlers in a highly ambitious national effort that lawmakers, advocates and child care workers believe may fundamentally transform America’s cultural ambivalence toward child care, and help bridge gender and racial inequities that the coronavirus pandemic has widened.
“It is so amazing that what has been a secretly whispered stress campaign for so many parents for so long is finally seeing prime-time attention,” said Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, who has been championing child care reforms and family-friendly policies since she was elected in 1993.