- Posted August 7, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Confessions from imperfect parents
The Real Price of Good Child Care
Today I had the jaw-dropping experience of trying to obtain full time child care for my youngest 2 kiddos. I looked up day care centers that were on the route to work, hoping to find something convenient. They weren't Goddard, they weren't private schools, I inquired of any place that had a good rating and was listed as a day care center. They quoted me between $185-$265/week...per child. They were gracious to offer a 10% discount, gee thanks. I have one simple question to ask them, are you insane?
Teachers are important, they deserve to make decent money and a child care that provides an educational program is valuable. If I didn't happen to originally help own and operate a day care center of my own, I might just assume perhaps I don't really know all the expenses that go into running such a facility, so it would be unfare for me to judge. But, I do.
Some would say that making such a facility more affordable would hurt the economy. I disagree. If all parents could afford an educationally based child care program for their children, their children would be smarter for it and benefit greatly. An educated next generation is hope for the future economy. It would cut down the poverty rate, crime rate, and therefore take a load off the struggling government funding programs. With this relief to the government's pockets, this would in turn enable our local governments to function better, put their money into other programs, and help avoid national bankruptcies.
If parents didn't have to spend anywhere from 40-70% of their income on a good educationally based child care program, I tend to think they'd be able to better pay their bills. There would be a better housing market, banking market, and less financial stress in the home which is the #1 cause of stress between married couples. Perhaps this would mean less divorce, less broken homes. A 2 parent household thrives financially better overall. Maybe with a better financial situation, families won't need elaborate student loans to put their children through college. There would be much less overall payment deficiencies. This would mean that companies would get paid. When companies don't get paid, they downsize staff, they ship their work overseas, or they just close completely - all of which means mom and dad are out of work and left with even less money to pay their mounting bills and depend on even more government aid to survive. When businesses thrive, working parents are able to get paid more, not less.
If you have 2 or 3 children and child care is $100/week, that means your weekly cost is $200-$300 per week (800-1200/month). Childcare for 1 child is going to run $400/month. If you are a single parent, how can you even afford to pay that? If your child attends a large facility, then government regulations stipulate a max of 6 children under the care of each teacher/child care staff. A large institution is able to have multiple staff and that means providing quality care for many, many children. A weekly rate of $100 per child multiplied by 6 children per staff member equals $600. You mean to tell me that an educationally based facility can't stay afloat on that kind of money?
So in the case of my 2 kiddos, I have the choice of either sending them to a babysitter who will not provide them an educational experience or I'll be working almost for free to provide them with one.