Access to reliable child care remains a high hurdle for women in the American workplace. At MIT, more scholars will have it, thanks to libertarian billionaire David H. Koch. A couple of years ago, Koch listened as biology researchers at MIT discussed what could help them do their job better. The unanimous answer from the women in the room was better child care. Koch was moved to donate $20 million toward doubling the number of day care slots on campus.
The gift from Koch, better known for his efforts as an anti-Obama crusader, targets only a small group of families at one elite institution. Nonetheless, the underlying sentiment is praiseworthy; Koch recognizes that a lack of child care is an obstacle to women’s career progress — but also to scientific progress. Because of Koch’s influence in the Republican Party, his donation could further a discussion of better child care for all.