President Biden’s expansive $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan is facing mounting pushback as critics say proposed expenditures on child and elder care just don’t qualify like road and bridge repairs–but two Northeastern economists who’ve studied the recent shecession disagree.

Nearly 2.4 million women left the workforce since last February as daycare centers shuttered, with many pointing to a lack of child care as the reason.

“Juggling child care and work just became more and more unsustainable. It’s not that these mothers were opting out of work so much as they were pushed out because they couldn’t afford to do both,” says Alicia Sasser Modestino, associate professor of public policy, urban affairs and economics at Northeastern.

Biden’s infrastructure legislation would allocate $25 million to a new Child Care Growth and Innovation Fund, a program that directs cash to states building or upgrading child care facilities in underserved areas. His administration has suggested they’ll go even further in the near future with additional infrastructure legislation that would increase the wages and benefits of child care workers.


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