Mario Cardona, chief of policy and practice at Child Care Aware of America, also points to economic reverberations later in life. Mothers who are forced to work part-time or leave their jobs entirely to care for their children aren't able to put more money into their 401(k) plan or other mechanisms that exist to support retirement.
An average woman with two children could see an increase in lifetime earning of $97,000 with access to affordable child care, according a report from Columbia University and the National Women's Law Center released earlier this year. About 1.3 million women in the U.S. could see a collective $130 billion boost in incomes over their lifetimes.
"By not providing affordable, accessible high-quality child care for folks to take advantage of, it hurts decades later when they're looking at retirement because they weren't able to save as much as they could have potentially by being engaged in the labor force," he said.