Online Forum Columbus Economic Toll Conversation

More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, many families in Columbus face obstacles as they attempt to return to the workforce.

One of the biggest things they have to go through is finding affordable, high-quality child care.

Following:“Parents tell us what they need to get back to work.” Repair child care.

Add to that the labor issues of the child care sectorwhich has taken a considerable hit over the past two years as workers have left en masse.

These realities raise the question, “Why can’t we afford this childcare crisis?” which will be the subject of the next Columbus Conversation at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 15.

Alexis Voss

The free public discussion, moderated by Opinion Dispatch and Community Engagement Editor Amelie Robinsonwill be broadcast live on the newspaper Facebook page and later published on

RSVP to attend.

Nationally, nearly 1.8 million women have left the workforce since the start of the pandemic and many of them with children under 5 have yet to return.

Gina Ginn

A statewide survey by Groundwork Ohioa nonpartisan public policy research and advocacy organization, found that working mothers are disproportionately affected, with 60% of mothers who are not working or working part-time saying they would return to work if they had access to quality child care at a reasonable price. care.

Steve Stivers

Following:Meet Amelia Robinson, Opinion and Community Engagement Editor: “I see myself as a conversation starter”

“Often people find it cost prohibitive or impossible to work because they can’t afford childcare,” said Dispatch’s acting editor. Kelly Lecker noted. “That’s why it’s important for the community to talk about this problem and find solutions.”

Shannon Jones

The Dispatch panelists present Columbus Conversations: “Why can’t we afford this childcare crisis?” will be:

• Alexis Vossparent and artist

•Steve StiversPresident and CEO, Ohio Chamber of Commerce

• Shannon JonesPresident and CEO, Groundwork Ohio

• Erica CrawleyCommissioner, Franklin County Commission

• Jane D. LeachCEO, Future Ready Columbus

• Gina M. GinnCEO, Columbus Early Learning Centers

Lisa Patt McDanielCEO, Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio

Erica C. Crawley

Following:Working parents tired of jumping through hoops to find suitable child care seek change

the struggling to find new qualified employees persists, part of a vicious cycle in which understaffed daycares are limited in the number of young people they can accept, pushing parents without childcare out of the workforce.

Jane D. Leach

Following:‘We’re in crisis’: One-third of Ohio child care centers are understaffed as parents seek to return to offices

“The lack of affordable childcare is often a major barrier for parents trying to join and stay in the workforce, especially for women,” Lecker said.

Lisa Patt-McDaniel, CEO, Workforce Development Council of Central Ohio
Amelia Robinson, opinion and community engagement editor of Columbus Dispatch