The United States does not have a comprehensive child care policy. One of the biggest hurdles for women in the workforce is the lack of adequate childcare options, forcing women to terminate employment or take temporary or part-time work. This issue was always prevalent for low income working women, but by the 1960s middle class women and second-wave feminists took up the cause. Affordable, available, safe, and educational childcare options were championed across the nation as more and more women entered the workforce.
By 1988, 65% of all women in the United States with children under the age of 18 worked outside the home. Social service organizations championed the need for childcare facilities, as did private companies who saw the need for their employees to have reliable quality care for their families in order to do their work.
After years of discussion, the University of Minnesota’s child care center opened its doors in 1974 with accommodations for 73 children of University faculty, staff, and students. Yet conversations about adequate childcare at the University continue today. In 2018, the Child Development Center, with 140 students and a further 200 on the waiting list, announced it would close, before eventually reversing its decision in the wake of protest. That same year, the Economic Policy Institute ranked Minnesota the 4th most expensive state for infant care.