The Unspoken Link Between Transit and Child Care

Already a challenge for many American parents, finding child care within reach of transit can be nearly impossible.

1 minute read

September 22, 2023, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Young girl with pigtail braids boarding bus with blurred bus driver in driver's seat in background

hedgehog94 / Adobe Stock

In an op-ed in Next City, Jason Prokop and Anne Hedgepeth draw attention to the rarely discussed but crucial intersection of child care and public transit.

The authors explain, “America’s cities depend on both child care and public transportation to be livable places. Unfortunately, little attention is paid to how these systems intersect.” For many American parents, finding transit-accessible child care can be nearly impossible.

The authors cite a Nebraska program that aims to bridge this gap and help policymakers understand the link. The data dashboard, which explores public transit and childcare options in metropolitan Nebraska, reveals that “In Lincoln and Greater Omaha, only about 45% of all licensed child care providers serving children under age 6 are located within a 10-minute walk of the nearest public transit stop”—a time frame that can be “insurmountable” for parents of small children. 

“The Child Care and Public Transit Dashboard was designed to ensure decision-makers can build systems that better serve their communities, which is good for children, families and our economies.”

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