UNH Research Finds Lack of Childcare Led to Disproportionate Job Loss

Thursday, December 23, 2021

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DURHAM, N.H.—About five million U.S. households had a child under age 12 who was unable to attend childcare as a result of it being closed, unavailable, unaffordable or because parents were concerned about the child’s safety, according to new research released by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. This lack of access to childcare led to a loss of employment for one in five of those households.

Black and low-income households with a child under age 12 were more likely to report inadequate access to childcare—one third versus one quarter among all households.

“Any illusion that the childcare crises of early 2020 were transitory and now resolved is incorrect,” said the researchers. “Our study illustrates multiple and overlapping forms of disadvantage. Not only are people of color and those with lower income more likely to face inadequate access to childcare, they are also more likely to lose work because of these challenges. These job losses amplify economic precarity and efforts to stem childcare losses should be a top priority in the immediate term.”

The research was conducted by Jonathan Koltai, assistant professor of sociology; Jess Carson, research assistant professor in the Carsey School; Tyrus Parker, doctoral student in sociology; and Rebecca Glauber, associate professor of sociology and a Carsey faculty fellow.

The Carsey School of Public Policy is nationally recognized for research, policy education and bringing people together for thoughtful dialogue to address important societal challenges. The school develops and facilitates innovative, responsive and equitable solutions at all levels of government and in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.

The University of New Hampshire inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top-ranked programs in business, engineering, law, health and human services, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. A Carnegie Classification R1 institution, UNH partners with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, and received $260 million in competitive external funding in FY21 to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.