Letter: Child care is critical now and after the pandemic

Regarding “Fear, isolation and financial stress. How do we cope with it all?” (March 30): As a pharmacy technician, I’m on the front lines of this pandemic. I’m stressed that I could be exposed and that I could bring the virus into my house, putting my husband and three children in danger. On top of that concern, my husband and I are faced with an added layer of stress: How will our bank account survive now and when this is all over?

Before the pandemic, my family couldn’t afford the high cost of child care. With two full-time jobs, my husband and I are forced to stagger our hours so that one of us is available to care for our children. He works overnight and morning shifts and I work in the evenings, leaving us very little family time. Because we already faced difficulties accessing care before this coronavirus, we now worry about how much harder it will be for us when we all go back to “normal.”

Coronavirus isn’t only putting families’ physical health at risk, it’s also threatening our economic and emotional well-being. I’m relying on Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, and Rep. Jason Smith, to help families like mine weather this storm. Child care is an essential support for working families. In order to withstand this crisis, both the American economy and our families need a child care system that is ready and able to respond to our needs.

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