By: Belinda M. Paschal Access article
More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, many Columbus families face hurdles as they try to return to the workforce.
One of the tallest they must leap is finding high-quality, affordable child care.
Add to this the workforce woes of the child care industry, which has taken a considerable hit in the past two years as workers left in droves.
Those realities beg the question, "Why can't we afford this child care crisis?" which will be the topic of the next Columbus Conversation at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15.
The free town hall discussion, hosted by Dispatch Opinion and Community Engagement Editor Amelia Robinson, will be streamed live on the newspaper's Facebook page and published later on Dispatch.com.
Nationally, nearly 1.8 million women have left the workforce since the onset of the pandemic and many with children under 5 have yet to return.
A statewide poll by Groundwork Ohio, a nonpartisan public-policy research and advocacy organization, found that mothers in the workforce are disproportionally impacted, with 60% of non-working or part-time working moms reporting they would return to work if they had access to quality, reasonably priced child care.