Last week, in partnership with the Pritzker Children’s Initiative and the Stein Early Childhood Development Fund, PBS NewsHour aired a week-long the series, “Raising the Future: America’s child care dilemma,” to examine the nation’s fractured child care system and its impact on women, children, people of color, and the economy.
Correspondent Cat Wise and producer Kate McMahon crisscrossed the nation talking to parents, caregivers, experts and advocates to explore the issues plaguing the current early learning and care system such as workforce pay, access, quality, and affordability. The series shared stories and viewpoints from communities in the country that are often left out of the national conversation from child care providers barely making ends meet in Oregon to parents struggling to afford care for infants and toddlers in Nebraska.
Families with young children have been particularly impacted by this fractured system. The labor-intensive nature of caring for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers means that quality care costs more than education for older children, yet most parents must cover these costs on their own. Providers often must also meet state and federal regulations that require a higher staff to child ratio for younger children and babies.
This five-part PBS Newshour series examined the current state of the American child care system, its history, and the need for long-term reform. The episodes in their entirety are linked below:
- The market controls child care costs in the U.S. Can that be changed?
- Combining job training, child care could be ‘magic road’ to single moms’ economic security
- Parents in Shickley, Nebraska desperately needed child care. The public school stepped up
- Could the military child care system be a model for the nation?
- Can Americans resolve partisan divides to create a national child care system?