Child Care and the Labor Market Recovery: Defining the Challenge and Exploring Solutions

Tuesday, July 12, 2022 02:30 pm - 04:30 pm

Parents who work outside the home have always faced challenges finding high-quality, affordable child care that meets their needs. But the COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating consequences for the child care industry and parents’ attachment to the labor force. Closures or service reductions in child care programs, concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in child care settings, and a lack of supports constrained parents’ abilities to work or advance their careers and, in some cases, forced parents out of the labor force entirely.

What are the long-term implications of child care challenges for workers, families, and the economy? How have these challenges exacerbated labor market inequalities and barriers to upward mobility? What solutions are needed for families and the economy to thrive, and what role should public policy, employer practices, and advocacy play in providing them? Addressing these challenges has become urgent not only for parents and family advocates but for business and labor advocates as well.

Join WorkRise as we explore these critical questions and fixes through a dynamic convening of experts across the research, policy, business, and advocacy communities. We’ll provide clarity and context through data, insights, and perspectives from the field.


Panel 1: Defining the Challenge

  • Philip Fisher, Professor, Graduate School of Education, and Project Director, RAPID-EC (Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development Early Childhood Household Survey), Stanford University 
  • Katherine Lim, Economist, Community Development and Engagement, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 
  • Cheryl A. Oldham, Vice President of Education Policy, US Chamber of Commerce; Senior Vice President of Education and Workforce, US Chamber of Commerce Foundation  
  • Clare Waterman, Senior Director of Research, Child Care Aware of America 
  • Elisabeth Jacobs, Deputy Director, WorkRise; Senior Fellow, Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population, Urban Institute (moderator) 

Panel 2: Exploring Solutions 

  • Gina Adams, Senior Fellow, Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population, Urban Institute  
  • Mary Ignatius, Parent Voices Statewide Organizer, California Child Care Resource and Referral Network 
  • Julie Kashen, Senior Fellow and Director for Women’s Economic Justice, The Century Foundation 
  • Nicole Riehl, President and Chief Executive Officer, EPIC (Executives Partnering to Invest in Children) 
  • Miriam Calderón, Chief Policy Officer, Zero to Three (moderator)



Support for this event is provided by the funders of WorkRise. For more information on the funding principles of the Urban Institute, WorkRise’s host organization, please go to urban.org/fundingprinciples.

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email events@urban.org if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.