That time was during World War II.
I am standing on a Navy ship here in Portland that was built largely by women during that era. The federal government recognized that women were essential to the war effort, that, in order to build ships like this, they needed child care.
About 75 years ago, just across the water for me, there was a federally funded child care center that provided high-quality care for about 400 children, while their parents were hard at work.
But when the war ended, the government shuttered the Oregon center and 3, 100 others like it across the country. The last time the U.S. government seriously considered child care policy was in 1971, but President Nixon vetoed it, saying that a national child care system would weaken American families.