WASHINGTON, D.C. — Carrie Lukas, president of Independent Women’s Forum, will testify in front of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis at 2 p.m. ET tomorrow, March 2 on the childcare challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hearing, entitled “COVID Childcare Challenges: Supporting Families and Caregivers,” will examine what the coronavirus pandemic taught us in terms of how best to support American families and caregivers.
Lukas, the only minority witness, will testify alongside majority witnesses: Lea J.E. Austin, Ed.D., executive director, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, on behalf of University of California; Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO, Child Care Aware of America; Gina Forbes, early childhood educator and parent; and Betsey Stevenson, Ph.D., professor of public policy, professor of economics at the University of Michigan.
In her testimony, Lukas, writes, “First and most importantly, our experience with COVID showed us that we should reject any public policy changes that would make our childcare and preschool systems function more like our K-12 public schools.”
“Like many working parents, during COVID-19, I had to juggle my day job with the need to support my children while they attended online services through their public schools. Like much of the country, where I live in Northern Virginia, the majority of the private schools in our area opened with in-person service in Fall 2020, but our public schools fought to stay closed for as long as was politically possible. In our case, my kids weren’t all in person until mid-April 2021. That was long after it made any sense from a COVID and health perspective; long after teachers had been given priority access to vaccines; and long after it was obvious that it was an utter catastrophe in terms of emotional health and lost learning for students – particularly for children from low-income families, with disabilities, and for whom English is a second language.”
Additional areas that Lukas focuses on in her testimony include the need to:
- Reduce regulations to increase the quantity of daycare providers and diversity of care options so that child care is more affordable and plentiful for American families.
- Adjust tax benefits to support those with young children who often face the largest expenses while not making the financial support conditional on childcare arrangements.
- Reject government approved day care as studies show it isn’t necessarily good for kids.
- Limit government’s role in daycare and preschool programs. Legislation like the Build Back Better Act would have made government the biggest player in daycare and preschool programs and resulted in undermining independent childcare centers and discouraging the development of innovative and diverse childcare providers.
Lukas’s full testimony can be found HERE once the hearing begins.
Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.