Boston’s millennial mayor thinks big government will solve the city’s parenting crisis

February 23, 2022, 8:38 PM UTC
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu
Boston's first elected female mayor, Michelle Wu.
Getty Images

Beset by some of the nation’s highest child-care costs, Boston is creating an Office of Early Childhood to streamline the process for parents seeking affordable, high-quality options, Mayor Michelle Wu said Wednesday.

“We want to create a system where every single one of our little treasures is cared for,” Wu, 37, a progressive and the first woman elected mayor, told reporters outside the East Boston YMCA. “Affordably, near where is convenient to you,  whether that’s near work or whether that’s near home.”

The new office, described as a “one-stop shop” that will consolidate and expand existing services, aims to tackle a crunch made dramatically worse by the pandemic. Massachusetts has the second-highest child-care costs in the country, Wu said, and lower-income residents face added challenges obtaining care.

Also pending in Massachusetts: a bill that calls for universal child care that costs no more than 7% of a family’s household income. 

A sponsor, state Representative Adrian Madaro said Wednesday that he hears from constituents, “particularly single moms in East Boston, who have their jobs waiting for them, and the only reason why they can’t return to the workforce is because they either cannot afford child care or access child care.”   

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