Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 'Childcare is part of the basic infrastructure of this nation'

Sen. Warren's DNC speech focused on the fundamental truth of the childcare crisis.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 'Childcare is part of the basic infrastructure of this nation'

[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

The childcare crisis in the United States predates the COVID crisis, but it was exacerbated by it. Parents across the country have been tweeting and screaming this in recent weeks and at this week's Democratic National Convention they got some high-profile help from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who said what so many have been agonizing over this summer: the United States needs high-quality child care affordable for every family.

"I'm here at the Early Childhood Education Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, which has been closed for months," she began while sitting in front of a classroom bookshelf decorated with toy letters spelling out the acronym for Black Lives Matter.

"Childcare was already hard to find before the pandemic. And now, parents are stuck—no idea when schools can safely reopen and even fewer childcare options. The devastation is enormous. And the way I see it: big problems demand big solutions."


    "I love a good plan," Warren continued, touching on some of Joe Biden's plans for 2020 and beyond.

    "Let me tell you about one of Joe's plans that's especially close to my heart: child care. As a little girl growing up in Oklahoma, what I wanted most in the world was to be a teacher. I loved teaching. When I had babies and was juggling my first big teaching job down in Texas, it was hard. But I could do hard. The thing that almost sank me? Child care."

    Then Warren told the story she told Motherly last March: "One night my Aunt Bee called to check-in. I thought I was fine, but then I just broke down and started to cry. I had tried holding it all together, but without reliable childcare, working was nearly impossible. And when I told Aunt Bee I was going to quit my job, I thought my heart would break. Then she said the words that changed my life: "I can't get there tomorrow, but I'll come on Thursday." She arrived with seven suitcases and a Pekingese named Buddy and stayed for 16 years."

    Like celebrities Amanda Seyfried and Chrissy Teigen, Sen. Warren was able to do what she did because she had a family member willing to help her out. And she knows not every American parent has that.

    "I get to be here tonight because of my Aunt Bee," she explained. "I learned a fundamental truth: nobody makes it on their own. And yet, two generations of working parents later, if you have a baby and don't have an Aunt Bee, you're on your own. And here's why that's wrong: We build infrastructure like roads, bridges and communications systems so that people can work. That infrastructure helps us all because it keeps our economy going. It's time to recognize that childcare is part of the basic infrastructure of this nation—it's infrastructure for families."

    Sen. Warren noted Biden and Harris's plans for quality, child care affordable for every family, universal preschool and better wages for childcare workers.

    "Today, America has the most COVID deaths in the world and an economic collapse—and both crises are falling hardest on Black and Brown families. Millions out of work. Millions more trapped in cycles of poverty. Millions on the brink of losing their homes. Millions of restaurants and stores hanging by a thread," Warren continued.

    She concluded by urging voters to go to polls and "stay in this fight so that when our children and our grandchildren ask what we did during this dark chapter in our nation's history, we will be able to look them squarely in the eye and say: we organized, we persisted, and we changed America."

    In This Article

      The HATCH Mama collection is everything your pregnant body needs right now

      Their oil is the only thing that stopped my belly from itching as it grew bigger.

      Conz Preti

      Let me start by saying I'm not a fan of moisturizing. I hate being wet and sticky and after applying product to my body, I have to stand around awkwardly until I'm fully air-dried—a practice that is not compatible with having three kids under the age of 3. However, as someone who has carried three children in her body, I also know how much your belly needs hydration as the baby grows.

      This was especially true with my second pregnancy. My belly popped way sooner (a thing that happens with subsequent pregnancies) and on top of that, I was carrying twins, which meant I became super pregnant super fast. My belly was itching constantly from the skin stretching (I checked with my doctor to make sure I didn't have Cholestasis) and there was no scratching in the world that could ease my discomfort. My doula recommended the HATCH Mama belly oil and changed my life. The oil is nourishing—but more important to me, quick-drying—so I could apply it all over my planet-sized twin belly and get dressed immediately after without having my clothes ruined nor stuck to my body. Because of how much I loved the oil, I tested other products, and let me tell you, they're all equally amazing.

      Curious about the HATCH Mama collection? All of their products are non-toxic and mama-safe, designed to help pregnant people overcome the challenges unique to pregnancy. As their website claims, "from stretch marks to thinning hair, to sleepless nights, we're helping you tackle every prenatal and postnatal beauty issue head-on so you can continue to feel like the best version of you." I'm here for all of this. For the entire Hatch Beauty collection click here.


      Here are my favorite products from HATCH Mama:


      Belly oil

      HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Oil

      Intensely hydrating + fantastic at reducing the appearance of stretch marks and scars, this will be your favorite through pregnancy + beyond.

      $58

      Belly mask

      HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Mask Set

      Not only does it help to minimize the appearance of stretch masks + scars during pregnancy + postpartum, but there is a little non-toxic wink (and that's to you, mama.)

      $42

      Nipple + lip ointment 

      HATCH COLLECTION  Nipple + Lip

      Calming + soothing, this magic sauce is lanolin-free & made of tropical butters and super fruits. I'm not lying when I say you will not want to stop using this, even way after birth.

      $28

      Belly tattoos

      HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Tattoos

      A very rock and roll way to honor your bump. And non-toxic + plant-based at that!

      $18

      This article was originally published in March 2021. It has been updated.

      We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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      Motherly created the flexible online birth class moms need

      The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.

      Taking a birth class is a pregnancy milestone. Whether you've been excited to take a birth class for a long time or have just recently decided that you wanted to take one, sitting down for that first lesson feels big—spoiler alert, this is really happening! But finding time for a birth class isn't as easy as it would seem.

      We know new parents are busy (hello, understatement of the year). Between diaper changes, pediatrician appointments, healing from birth and the general adjustment to #newparentlife, the days can fill up quickly. But a lot of people are caught off guard by how busy pregnancy can be, too! That first trimester is so often full of symptoms—like nausea and fatigue—that can make previously easy or simple tasks exhausting. The second trimester begins and (usually) we start to feel better. But then our days get filled with planning out baby registries and deciding on questions like, "Where will this tiny new human sleep?" And before you know it, it's the third trimester—and, well, then you're in the home stretch. Plus there are so many appointments!

      All this to say that we get how busy you are—and how hard that might make it to fit in a birth class.

      And that's why we created The Motherly Birth Class. The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.


      Think you'll want to watch each lesson a few times over? Great!

      Due date's next week and you need the option to take a birth class very quickly? No problem!

      Like everything at Motherly, we designed this class with you in mind.

      Taught by Certified Nurse-Midwife Diana Spalding (who also wrote "The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama"), this class is broken into 12 lessons—and you get to control how and when you watch them. We'll teach you about what your (amazing) body is up to in labor, how to decide when it's time to head to the hospital or birth center (or when to call your home birth midwife), what your options are for coping with pain and so much more.

      When you sign up for The Motherly Birth Class, you'll get access to a downloadable workbook and meditations. Plus, you'll be invited to join our supportive private online community (where you can chat with the class instructor!)

      Oh, one more thing: Your insurance or flexible spending account might even able to able to cover the cost of this class.

      Pregnancy is wonderful—but it's a lot. You deserve a birth class that works for you and empowers you to have your best birth. Because vaginal or Cesarean, unmedicated or medication, birth is incredible. And you are the star of it all.

      You've got this.

      Sign up for The Motherly Birth Class today!

      The Motherly Birth Class

      pregnant-woman-looking-at-her-belly

      Take our completely digital birth class from the comfort of your living room. We'll help you have your best birth—because you deserve it.

      $79

      We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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      BABYBJÖRN

      This post is sponsored by BABYBJÖRN. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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      14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

      They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

      Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

      So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

      From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


      Secret Agent play set

      Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

      This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

      $40

      Mini golf set

      Plan Toys mini golf set

      Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

      $40

      Stepping Stones

      Stepping-stones

      Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

      $99.99

      Wooden doll stroller

      Janod wooden doll stroller

      Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

      $120

      Sand play set

      Plan Toys sand set

      Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

      $30

      Sensory play set

      kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

      Filled with sand or water, this compact-sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

      $19.95

      Vintage scooter balance bike

      Janod retro scooter balance bike

      Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

      $121

      Foam pogo stick

      Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

      Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

      $16.99

      Dumptruck 

      green-toys-dump-truck

      Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

      $22

      Hopper ball

      Hopper ball

      Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

      $14.99

      Pull-along ducks

      janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

      There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

      $16.99

      Rocking chair seesaw

      Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

      This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

      $79.99

      Baby forest fox ride-on

      janod toys baby fox ride on

      Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

      $79.99

      Meadow ring toss game

      Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

      Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

      $30

      We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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      15 vegetarian school lunch ideas kids will gobble up

      Need some plant-free lunch ideas to take to school? We got you, mama.

      Tom Werner / Getty

      Have your kids stopped eating meat? Is your family just trying to cut back? One trend I'm intrigued by is eating vegetarian on the weekdays, then going omnivore Saturday through Sunday. For health, happiness and environmental reasons, more and more families are simply opting out of anything that's not grown from the ground—and that includes two of my daughters.

      With school starting back up, you may be needing some more school lunch ideas for kids that don't include meat to keep those cute lunch boxes—and little bellies—full!

      Here are our favorite ways to pack lunch boxes that are hearty, satisfying, full of protein yet vegetarian all the way through.

      Simplified Focaccia Bread

      When we lived in Italy, we learned that focaccia bread was originally made for fishermen who needed a fast lunch that would stick with them until dinner. Olive oil not only packs a flavorful punch but adds enough (good) fats to keep fishermen full. Turns out, it works for kids at school too and this easy recipe is the best way to make it!

      Cheddar Cheese and Apple Muffins

      Think of these savory baked goods as a twist on a biscuit--one that's packed with tart apples and creamy, salty cheddar cheese.

      Whole-Wheat Mini Tomato Galettes

      Start with pie crust (use our easy recipe or take a shortcut with something from the store) then layer on the freshly sliced tomatoes (or potatoes!), sprinkle with cheese and bake. These make-ahead lunches will be the hit of your bento boxes (Tip: measure the size of your container and adjust your galettes before baking!)

      Spicy Black Bean Enchilada Cups

      Of all the ways to eat enchiladas, I bet you've never thought of this one. Fold tortillas into muffin pans and fill with all the gorgeous flavors of enchiladas. If your kids aren't into spicy, simply skip the adobe sauce and use mild enchilada sauce instead. (P.S. If you like the idea of using your muffin pan for another lunch special, try lasagna cups too.)

      Veggie Nuggets

      Served at room temp, this vegetarian spin on every kid's favorite food is a tasty treat. Don't forget to pack dipping sauce! (Bonus: Make a big batch and store in the freezer to simply pull out when you're ready to pack lunches.)

      Fruit & Nut Butter Wraps

      Begin with a tortilla or wrap, then slather on a thick layer of your chosen nut butter and top with freshly sliced fruit: strawberries, peaches, blueberries… Almost any combination works deliciously.

      Puff Pastry Pizza

      Talk about a happy meal. This one combines pizza with the buttery, flaky texture of puff pastry. Add any toppings your kids love, from plain cheese to tomatoes, mushrooms, olives and more.

      Crispy Tofu Nuggets

      If you've got an air fryer and a vegetarian kid, these tofu nuggets are your new best dish. Their perfectly crisp texture will remind you of a popular dish served in packs of six at a restaurant that rhymes with Schmic-donalds.

      Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

      "But how do you get enough protein?" For every parent of a vegetarian has heard this about a zillion times too many, here's your one-word reply: quinoa! This golden grain is packed with the stuff, plus fiber to keep kids full. Fill a colorful pepper with quinoa, plus a handful of other tasty flavors, and you've got a protein-rich lunch to send to school on repeat.

      Tiny Tomato Pies

      My daughter asks me to make these pies for her birthday every year. And when her friends come over for dinner. And when it's her turn to choose a meal. There's something about a flaky crust topped with cheese and fresh tomato slices all grilled together that even elementary school kids can't resist. (Psst: Since it starts with store-bought biscuit dough, these tiny pies come together in a snap.)

      Quiche Cups

      One of the best things about quiche is how versatile it is: add cheese, grilled veggies, roasted broccoli, fresh herbs...or none of the above. Since you use a muffin pan to make a dozen at a time, you can even change up the combinations to suit your kids' tastes.

      Simple Sushi Rolls

      Don't let the name fool you. Making sushi is not only easier than you think, but a fun way for kids to try their hand in the kitchen with you.

      Toasted Bagel Bites with Hummus

      Slice up a store-bought bagel and give it a minute under the broiler and you'll have the crispy bites kids devour at lunch. My kids like a little hummus, marinara sauce or nut butter and jelly for dipping.

      Very Pickle-y Egg Salad

      The secret to this egg salad is simple: tons of dill pickles. The salty, sweet and crunchy texture makes the perfect bite with all those rich and creamy boiled eggs. (Tip: Save time with dill pickle relish.)

      Taco Pop Tarts

      What started as a cheeky way to use up taco filling has turned into one of my kids' most-requested lunches. Just fill pie crust with your favorite taco filling (using beans or a veggie substitute for ground beef) and bake. Again, word to the wise, do measure your lunch box compartment ahead of time so you don't make mammoth pop tarts like someone I know. Me, it's me. Of course it's me.

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