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Inadequate U.S. Child-Care Hampers Economy, Treasury Says

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The U.S. child-care system fails to adequately serve many families due to insufficient supply and high cost, holding back parents’ ability to contribute to the economy, according to a new report from the U.S. Treasury Department.

One reason the current child-care system is “unworkable” is because parents of young children are asked to pay for care when they can least afford it -- they are often earlier in their careers and still paying major expenses like mortgages and student loans, the report said. Inadequate access to child care may play a role in why women’s labor force participation has stayed flat since 2000 in the U.S. while rising in other advanced economies, according to the Treasury report released Wednesday.