The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Here’s the reality of the care industry


The Sept. 26 front-page article “Forced to carry the load on their own” highlighted our nation’s caregiving crisis. Care jobs have long been underpaid and undervalued. The work has historically been performed by women, and disproportionately by women of color. Nearly half of home-care jobs are held by Black and Latina women who are paid a median wage of $29,260 per year, often struggling to meet expenses. Black and Latina women are also overrepresented in the child-care workforce. The median pay for child-care workers is just $27,490 per year, approximately the poverty line for a family of four.

This is the reality of work for millions of women of color: jobs with low-wages and few benefits or opportunities for advancement. Yet, families strain to pay the astronomical out-of-pocket costs for caregiving.

The only solution is for Congress to invest in child-care and home care to transform care jobs into family-sustaining jobs, while establishing a national paid-leave program to help more working people care for their loved ones.

Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Washington

The writer is president and executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy.

The Sept. 26 front-page article “Forced to carry the load on their own” reported that “policymakers have long recognized that America’s patchwork system of home care is insufficient.” If “pro life” had teeth and if it were more than a slogan, this would not be the case — or does life no longer pertain once the woman gives birth?

Robert Braxton, Fairfax