Donor Briefing Recap – Interrupted: Women, Work and COVID-19
A Community Foundation event presented in partnership with The Community Fund for Women and Girls. On Nov. 16, a panel of women leaders in their fields discussed the realities faced by working women during COVID-19 and the once-in-a-generation opportunity for passing federal legislation for comprehensive childcare supports and to value care and caregiving as essential infrastructure in our economy and our society.
Khalilah L. Brown-Dean, Ph.D., Board Chair, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
Melissa Boteach, VP for Income Security, Childcare and Early Learning, National Women’s Law Center
Beth Bye, Commissioner, Office of Early Childhood
Thais Moore, Director of Marketing & Communications, Lockton Companies
Karen Peart, Chair, The Community Fund for Women & Girls
What We Heard:
- Pre-COVID-19, two-thirds of the lowest paid jobs were held by women. Labor surveys showed four times as many women left the workforce as men in September 2020, coinciding with the start of the school year.
- Nine in ten Connecticut families cannot afford the full cost of childcare.
- The childcare system in Connecticut is operating at 30 percent capacity.
- 75% of childcare providers are private business owners, overwhelmingly women - 37% of which have closed in Connecticut.
- Care workers were underpaid prior to COVID-19, lack access to resources to protect themselves, and are predominantly Black and Brown women.
- The pandemic presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to value care and caregiving, both paid and unpaid, as essential infrastructure in our economy and our society.
- With families experiencing the shock of closed childcare centers and schools, now is also the time to advocate for a national fully-funded early-care system.
- Be generous with grace – for others and for ourselves.
- Employers are wise to acknowledge and address the social/emotional effects of remote working and learning on parenting and caregiving staff.
What We Can Do:
- Woman in philanthropy: give to grassroots organizations working to build a social movement for childcare, and give to organizations led by Black or Brown women.
- Advocate for prominent inclusion of caregiving and childcare supports in future recovery bills.
- Lift your voice to advocate for increased childcare supports.
- Build ourselves a “village” of people who support us and allow ourselves grace.
Resources For You
The Child Care is Essential Act: $50 Billion for childcare sector
The Community Fund for Women & Girls
"Recession with a Difference: Women Face a Special Burden" New York Times
National Women's Law Center Issues Resource Site
The Care Economy, an info-brief from The Community Foundation