Millions of mothers leaving the workplace due to COVID-19 as Illinois lawmakers debate childcare

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — One of the most staggering statistics we’ve seen: More than 3 million women have left the workforce since the start of the pandemic.

That’s according to Department of Labor numbers. Another recent survey asked working mothers if they were considering taking a step back at work.

2 in 5 said they already have or are thinking about it. Many cite childcare as the reason.

Experts testifying at an Illinois House Education committee on Monday said many parents face hurdles getting kids back into childcare and many families still haven’t recovered from the disruption to schools and the economy.

“We’ve we’ve seen very sharply reduced participation in early childhood education and care, understandably, during the pandemic with families, either not working working from home or not comfortable having their kids being in a in a congregate setting,” said Dr. Theresa Hawley, an Early Childhood Policy Advisor for Gov. JB Pritzker.

The Pritzker administration and State Board of Education are calling for an extra $50 million in state funding for early childhood education.

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