Last week, Amy O’Leary participated in a town hall meeting on child care and paid family leave organized by the Coalition for Social Justice. (The meeting starts at the 10:09 time mark.)

Launching the meeting, Jynai McDonald, the family child care coordinator for SEIU 509, thanked Congress for its initial $7 billion support of child care programs, and she called for more advocacy.

Child care, McDonald says, needs $50 billion.

Other speakers addressed the need for paid family leave that can protect parents and caregivers from having to choose between caring for children and relatives and losing their jobs. This is particularly important now given the threat of COVID-19 and the need for people who get sick from this virus to quarantine themselves for two weeks.

Amy, the director of Strategies for Children’s Early Education for All Campaign, shared “what we know” about child care now.

We know, Amy said, “that no economic reopening or recovery will be successful if employees do not have reliable, safe, affordable, high-quality child care for their children.

“We also know that before COVID-19, 74 percent of children under the age of six lived in households in which all adults worked full time.”

Amy has posted a list of her points on Facebook. Among them:

“Over the last month we have found the most inspiration in hearing the stories from communities that often go unnoticed – the toddler teachers, worried about their own jobs, who video chatted with the children in their class – causing the toddlers to giggle with delight.”

In addition:

“We have a long road back. Things will be different as we return to a new reality. We will rely on the innovation, creativity and can-do attitude of the early education and care community.”

Amy also said that while we don’t know all the solutions for the challenges that lie ahead, we do know that we are all in this together.


To learn more, watch the video – and check out Amy’s list.