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We Need to Talk About Why Businesses Are Opening Up Before Child Care

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 04: A woman and child wear face masks while walking past shuttered downtown shops amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 4, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The U.S. COVID-19 death toll has now surpassed 8,000. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

For the past few months, workers across the nation have been tasked with operating as close to business as usual amid the coronavirus pandemic. The fact that this was thrust upon working parents - who make up 41 percent of employees between the ages of 20 and 54 in the US - without any meaningful consideration for the well-being of their children felt, frankly, unsurprising.

For decades, working parents have long had to prioritize their jobs over their families. They've had to balance budgets that put child-care costs pennies under what their paychecks brought home. They've had to cobble together before-care and aftercare options because the typical school day was a few hours shorter than their shift at work. They've had to scramble when their kids got sick or their day care closed. They've had to return to work mere days or weeks after giving birth to pay rent and keep food on their tables, and they've had to sacrifice promotions and raises because they couldn't afford

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