Who paid for Rosie the Riveter’s kids to go to daycare? The government

This is the latest in a series of weekly posts from the Bizwomen staff recommending podcasts.

Today, contributor Caitlin Mullen recommends an episode of The Pay Check podcast, “Help Wanted,” which explores the fascinating history behind the government-run and -subsidized childcare centers that were created during World War II, when men’s role in the war necessitated women’s participation in the workforce.

Childcare centers had teachers and nurses on staff, and children received nutritious meals and benefitted from socialization. At the subsidized centers, women paid about 50 cents per day — what amounts to $7 per day today. These childcare centers were seen as patriotic at the time, but when the idea was revived in the ‘70s, it was shot down by conservatives who said child-raising should be a family’s responsibility, not the government’s.