EXCLUSIVE: Gloria Riviera, the ABC News correspondent, is exploring America’s childcare crisis in a podcast series, with a little help from Kristen Bell.
Riviera is launching No One is Coming to Save Us, with podcast network Lemonada Media, a four-part series that will shine a spotlight on the crisis and the people crushed by it. The series zooms in on the Ellis Early Learning Center in Boston, sharing diverse stories of families, providers and childcare workers.
The podcast will explore how a lack of quality, affordable childcare creates an achievement gap that can last a person’s entire lifetime, exacerbating inequities in our culture; and how the coronavirus pandemic has revealed another epidemic in America’s childcare system that continues to disproportionately affect lower income families.
The Good Place and Frozen star Bell will appear in each episode as a special Call It Like It Is correspondent, to untangle some of the more complex issues with lightness and humor.
The series, which was co-created by non-profit Neighborhood Villages, will launch on May 20.
Lemonada Media, which was set up by Stephanie Wittels Wachs and Jessica Cordova Kramer, is behind podcasts such as Good Sex and Our America with Julian Castro.
“Once I became a mom, I couldn’t avoid the early childcare crisis – literally and figuratively. I wanted to ask other moms a million questions, but I didn’t — because we don’t talk about this crisis — we just live with it and that’s wrong,” said Gloria Riviera. “Finding good childcare in America for kids under five is a workable problem with a roadmap, and if we get this story right we will change early education policy in this country.”
“Jess and I were so thrilled when this project came to us. Both of us are parents of young kids and working moms, so it hits very close to home. We knew this was a story we wanted and needed to tell,” said Lemonada’s Chief Creative Officer Stephanie Wittels Wachs. “This was a Lemonada no-brainer because we read story after story of how parents are breaking, childcare providers and workers are suffering, kids are languishing, but solutions have been missing. And Gloria and Kristen helping shape the narrative and make the listening experience joyful and entertaining made the show creation an incredible experience for the Lemonada team, too,” added Lemonada’s CEO Jessica Cordova Kramer.
“The United States has long failed families when it comes to childcare, but Covid-19’s up-ending of our broken childcare system took things to an emergency crisis level – for parents and child care providers alike,” said Lauren Kennedy, co-founder of Neighborhood Villages. “Co-founder Sarah Muncey and I firmly believed that this story had to be told, and that it had to start at the beginning. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Lemonada to shine a light not only on the reasons for why childcare is broken, but on how, together, we can fix it,” Kennedy said.