Working parents have received very little support since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but some places have figured out concrete ways to help. Here are eight examples of governments and companies that get it.
The country offered free child care to its citizens for 14 weeks at the beginning of the pandemic, and financial support for the child care industry to ensure that providers were able to stay in business even during closures. Schools largely remained open, and those that closed reopened last spring. Parents can use two weeks of paid “carer’s leave” for unexpected school closures.
The government offered a new benefit for parents of children whose schools are closed: They can take leave from work, fully paid, or reduce their work hours up to 25 percent without a reduction in earnings. Also, pre-pandemic benefits enable parents to take three and a half months of leave or reduce their hours, fully paid, for child care reasons, and to take four months off unpaid until a child is 6.
The state made an investment of over $40 million to keep child care centers open, including covering half of parents’ tuition payments from March 16 to May 30. Additional payments to child care centers have provided low-cost care to the children of frontline workers. Statewide paid sick leave includes caregiving during school closures.