For too long, child care has been undervalued instead of appreciated for the critical role it plays in ensuring parents and caregivers can work and support their families while providing children with a strong foundation for future success. During this time of social-distancing, children have missed their educators, friends and routines, while parents have juggled trying to balance work and child care.

Meanwhile, child-care programs are struggling to stay afloat without the tuition from families they need to operate and cover fixed costs. We are on the verge of losing half of all our child-care programs and, sadly, many may not reopen.

If it wasn’t clear before, it is now: child care is essential. We must invest now to ensure our nation’s child-care infrastructure is still there when it’s safe to reopen. If people can’t get back to work after this crisis is over because they don’t have access to child care, it will hurt us all.

Matthew Boguske, Redmond