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“The end user is a dollar sign, it’s not a child”: How private equity and shareholders are reshaping American child care

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Haspel, Elliot
Publication Date: 
22 Apr 2024



This article is split into six sections: First, how private equity firms and shareholders manage to make money in a sector that is well-known to struggle financially; Second, the systemic risks from debt-driven growth and consolidation; Third, the political risks to universal child care efforts posed by rising investor influence; Fourth, what clientele investor-backed chains seek to serve and how they treat their employees; Fifth, the implications of profit maximization for program quality, health, and safety; and Sixth, what actions policymakers have or might take to put up guardrails against excessive profiteering — particularly as more public funding becomes available. One way or the other, what decisions those policymakers make in the coming years will indelibly shape the future of American child care.