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