Is Offering Free Childcare So Parents Can Get Out and Vote This Year

Between supporting their child's virtual learning to clocking in for their own work, parents might be struggling to find time to cast their ballot. A new child care initiative aims to help.

people wearing face masks voting
Photo: Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has served to throw a spotlight on the child care crisis. A report by NPR found that 59 percent of parents across the U.S. said they are having "serious" problems caring for children. Now, with election season in full swing, some parents might be worried that without child care, they won't be able to find time to cast their ballot. That's why has partnered with Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) to launch a new campaign that will offer free child care options at 27+ locations across the country.

From now until Election Day, parents can visit the campaign's landing page to reserve a four-hour spot for their children at one of the participating locations. (Almost all are open to the public, though a select few locations reserved for military families.) Then, on Election Day, kids can be dropped off during the scheduled time frame.

Kids can be any age, and there's no limit to the number of kids you can register. It does bear noting that each location could have more than 20 children, and everyone must comply with COVID-19 restrictions, so kids should have masks.

The program was developed in response to's Fall 2020 Child Care Survey, which found:

  • 90 percent of parents agree that access to quality affordable child care is essential for them and/or their partner to go to work.
  • 44 percent of parents say they are experiencing higher child care costs since the pandemic began.
  • 89 percent of parents say child care policies are important to their vote in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. is also offering a one-stop shop for election reminders, as well as help with voter registration and voting by mail. And premium members of the site are being granted credits towards a free hour of child care between October 22 and Election Day.

This year, from coast to coast, parents have made one sacrifice after the next. Cheers to Care and ASYMCA for working to ensure they won't have to sacrifice their vote—and their voice—as well.

And if you haven't voted yet and want to brush up on where each of the presidential candidates stand on key parenting issues, our voting guide breaks it down.

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