Let’s Get Serious

Childcare is too important to be concerned with profit

Matthew Woodall
5 min readJan 25


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I am very proudly the father of a school-aged child, and am dating a woman who also has a kid in that age range. For much of the past decade, childcare has been a personal concern of mine — along with a professional one.

My ex-wife, my girlfriend, and I all primarily work (or worked) jobs that usually fall into the category of “essential”. We’re among those people who are expected to be at work no matter what else is going on in the world. In fact, my profession requires me to be at work when things aren’t going so well.

What a lot of people don’t always recognize is that this means we have to make arrangements to ensure our children are well looked after in the event of the unexpected. If I get called in at 3am, I can’t just abandon the kids.

What many more people don’t recognize is that traditional childcare doesn’t work so well for those of us who are “essential”.

In fact, most daycares are openly and transparently harmful to essential workers — who are primarily female and non-white.

I should be clear first of all that I am a white male — I’m not nearly as deeply affected as many of my co-workers. But, as a white male I have an unearned privilege and it is my responsibility to use my voice to call attention to places where more attention is needed…especially by people like myself.

So why do I say that daycares are openly and transparently harmful?

Simply because most of them only operate during regular business hours — and charge fees if you’re even one minute late picking up your child. Some of these fees are nothing short of outrageous and generally don’t take into account exceptional circumstances. A nurse who is fifteen minutes late picking up their kid because they were performing CPR on a patient will still get charged. While many people work between the hours of 7 and 7 (which I’m generously calling “regular” business hours), many more people do not.

In fact many of the “essential” jobs are considered essential specifically because they work outside of regular business hours when other people aren’t usually at work. To give you an idea of the “usual” hours worked by people in essential…