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How Politics Killed Universal Child Care In The 1970s

Women demonstrate for accessible child care at the First Women's March down Fifth Avenue on Aug. 26, 1970.
Freda Leinwand, Courtesy of Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University
Women demonstrate for accessible child care at the First Women's March down Fifth Avenue on Aug. 26, 1970.

American parents often have difficulty securing care for their children while they go to work. Child care in the U.S. is tremendously expensive, and in many parts of the country, extremely scarce.

Rewind almost 50 years, and the same problems existed.

But in 1971, the United States came very close to having universal, federally subsidized child care. NPR examines how Congress came to pass the legislation, and why President Nixon vetoed it.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jennifer Ludden helps edit energy and environment stories for NPR's National Desk, working with NPR staffers and a team of public radio reporters across the country. They track the shift to clean energy, state and federal policy moves, and how people and communities are coping with the mounting impacts of climate change.
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