Volume 30

The Interdependence of Family, State, and Market: Childcare in the Shifting Landscape of the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Rebecca Horwitz-Willis and Leanna Katz

In response to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. federal and state governments enacted various supports for childcare, including expanded fund-ing and flexibility for the childcare market, expanded paid leave, more generous and inclusive unemployment insurance, loans available to childcare providers, and tax rebates. In this Article, we trace the distributional consequences of these interven-tions, focusing on one community in the Boston metropolitan area. We examine whether these interventions support access to childcare through the state, market, and family, in particular considering the make-up of the community’s population, which is largely immigrant and of low socio-economic status. Based on observations about how the COVID-era interventions have shifted patterns of childcare access, we offer reflections on welfare capitalism as an analytical framework when consider-ing the distribution of support for care in a Latinx immigrant community. We con-clude with suggested interventions to support the women of color whose under- compensated labor underlies systems of care.

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