Many argued that America needs to normalize people bringing children to work considering the state of the childcare services available.
A video of a Subway worker making a sandwich with a baby strapped to his chest in a carrier is evoking strong reactions online. While many found the video adorable, some claimed that it was an example of worker exploitation and highlighted the lack of access to affordable childcare. The video was posted on TikTok where it went viral, sparking a conversation on workers' rights and childcare. However, the story behind the video is complicated. The baby's mom, Leslie Munoz, who works at Subway, said the person featured in the video was a friend of hers who had come to meet her at her workplace, with her baby. He is also a former co-worker of Leslie's and decided to give Leslie a break and made her a sandwich, reported God.Daily.Dot. Munoz, who posted the video, captioned it: "Single Mom thingz."
“[He] was so excited and strapped him on,” said Munoz. “He then proceed to make my sandwich, but as soon as a customer came in he was given back to me.” Munoz added that she wanted to capture it on camera because it was funny. “Hundreds of people made so many assumptions which was dope to see, how a video was able to start so many conversations." Munoz added that she couldn't afford child-care services and found it "was interesting to see people’s opinions on this topic that I myself did not mean to start up.” After many requested the baby wear a hairnet, Munoz later posted a video of her fitting her child with a hairnet.
The comments section of the video blew up but many recognized it was the failure of the system. "If I saw this at my local Subway, I would not be bothered. Sometimes, childcare falls through," wrote one person. In response, Munoz posted a video of the staff at Subway cradling her baby. Another added, "As customers, we should be accepting of children in workplaces. Daycares are dangerous." Some even lauded the franchisee owner for allowing kids. "I don't know who owns this branch, but thank you for being the humans you are," commented one person. "Can we normalize this?" asked one person. "There shouldn't have to be a choice between taking care of the child and making money to care for the child." Few people hit back at those criticizing the parents of the child. "I genuinely want to fight anyone that has a problem with this. It is hard to find affordable /Good healthcare." Some couldn't help but comment on the high costs of childcare in America. "This is kinda sad. In Sweden, we get paid to be at home for 480 days. Kids can't start daycare until they turn one and up to 25 hours/ week are free," one person commented.
Many parents are unable to return to work due to the lack of accessible child care services in the wake of the pandemic. Many childcare centers were forced shut during the pandemic, some for good, reported The Guardian. Many are yet to reopen. Poor wages remain the main reason for worker shortage across America but lack of childcare services is also a factor. "At its core, the problem is that the type of childcare the country needs is simply not affordable for most Americans. There is a clear lack of availability of childcare," said Sachin Shivaram, Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry CEO, in an opinion piece for HTRN News.
Been homeschooling a 6-year old and 8-year old for one hour and 11 minutes. Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year. Or a week.— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) March 16, 2020
It was found that more than 300,000 women in the US left the workforce in September 2021, reported CNBC. More than 26,000 jobs were lost in September 2021 for women, while men gained 220,000 jobs. “I would say the past year has been the most financially stressed we’ve ever been,” said Jessica Rapp of Westminster, Colorado, who gave birth to her first child in August 2020. “The cost of full-time childcare would have been much higher than our mortgage, higher than my salary would have been able to take in.”