Child care scarcity has very real consequences for working families.
One of the most pressing questions facing new parents is, “who will take care of my children when I go back to work?”
Figuring out the answer to this question is not always easy. In a survey of more than 1,000 parents across the country by the TH Chan school of public health at Harvard University, a third of respondents said it was difficult to get care.
Extensive search, find a point.
Megan Carpenter, a new mother living in Alexandria, va., is well aware that looking for safety, quality baby care can bring a sense of hopelessness.
She has a hard deadline – after 16 weeks of her child was born, her maternity leave will end, and she will have to return to a service for the homeless and low-income women nonprofit organization work. So she and her husband started looking for early childhood, only a few months before she became pregnant.
“In our first few interviews, we asked a lot of questions and tried to feel the place,” carpenter recalled. “In 10 or 11 places, our only question is, ‘do you have a place? ”
Again and again, the answer is no. This means that a large number of waiting lists are required, and each time a heavy, non-refundable waiting fee is paid.
“There are a lot of places that are totally willing to charge $100 or $200 for waiting,” carpenter says. “We spent more than $1,000 on the waiting list – many of which I have never heard of.
The couple still had no future when the baby cora arrived.
Eventually, carpenter and her husband persuaded their mothers to take time off from their jobs, starting in Georgia and Missouri, taking turns at cora until one of them was open.
The situation is all over America. The center for American progress analyzed about 7,000 postal codes, roughly half the “nursery desert”.
While megan carpenter’s experience is representative of many working parents’ experiences, Narinder Walia’s is the worst case scenario.
Walia lives in fremont, calif., and works in biotechnology. Her baby boy Avin was born in 2014.
During walia’s four-month maternity leave, trying to find childcare was almost a full-time job. “I made 70 calls,” she says. “Some people don’t accept babies, or they’re full.”
Of about sixty, only three were able to provide her with a slot. Two of them, she said, were chaotic and disorganized. The third option, one at home, caused some red flags. But this is the best. She says her main reservation is to take care of children and older children. However, the shop owner assured her that it could handle a baby.
What happened to Avin on the first day of the facility was the worst nightmare for every parent.
“I was going to pick him up,” valeria recalled. “cather called me. They told her you had to come. Your son is here.
In order to let the Avin settle down in his first nap, rich caregivers has put the baby belly on his bassinet – this action violates the American academy of pediatrics for baby care guide, in violation of the baby’s standard practice nursing. Studies have shown that sleeping in your tummy can make sudden infant death syndrome more risky.
The guardian told the fremont police that after about 15 minutes he had put abbin on his back, and in a few moments he stopped breathing.
On the first day he left his mother, Avin died – he was three months old. The coroner’s report confirmed that small island developing countries were the cause of death.
I can’t put my head around it. “He smiled. He was a fat, fat man, and he had no problem, even on the first and second checks, and the doctor did the same,” mom, keep doing what you’re doing. “”
What happened to the walia family is rare. But it is the deepest fear of parents who are severely restricted.
“The market doesn’t work.”
These experiences – from subversive setbacks to tragedies – have led many parents to wonder why high quality baby care in the United States is not enough to meet demand.
The answer comes down to child care, especially baby care, which is a very low profit area. The costs are high, including real estate, materials, insurance and, most importantly, labor. Many states require the proportion of one caregiver to three or four babies.
On the other hand, the center cannot significantly raise the price. According to the non-partisan think-tank in a recent report, “new America” American parents pay an average of $9589 per year full-time children aged from 4 to 4 – this higher than the average cost of state university tuition fees ($9410). Many parents can’t afford to pay more. So low profits – coupled with high debt and the need to navigate complex regulations – make the business climate unpopular. In this case, the waiting list has become a necessary tool for the financial survival of the provider, which can cushion the gap and reduce income.
Still, a handful of providers are thriving. Over the past 30 years, Bright’s company has opened more than 1,000 nurseries in 42 states and the district of Columbia.
So, what’s the company’s secret?
“We’ve persuaded employers to invest more than $1 billion in their working families, whether it’s capital investment or subsidies,” said Dave Lissy, chief executive of Bright’s company. “It didn’t exist before we started the model.”
Some employers, including home depot, starbucks and chevron, have established partnerships with Bright’s company, which builds child care centers for its employees. These employers pay most or all of the construction costs.
“After all this,” said Lissy, “on average, parents are getting 75 percent of the money and 25 percent of the employers.” That means parents will pay for college, and employers who work with “bright vision” will have to pay more.
The bright horizon is able to build these bright, open centers because of generous underwriting by employers’ partners. Without that cushion, the profit margins of the other child care sectors are essentially minimal, slow to grow and fragile.
The weakness of the whole industry is an important finding of new America’s national research on child care.
“The thing to remember about child care is that the market really doesn’t work,” said study author Brigid Schulte. “Like education, from the education market is it won’t work, must want to subsidies, must take it as a public welfare, the same economic logic also applies to 0 5 to early care and study situation, we just didn’t think so. ”
The idea of child care as a public good is increasingly resonating with policy thinkers on the left and right.
Angela Rachidi, a researcher at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said: “there must be a problem with child care. “It’s a question of scale.”
She says investing in childcare should be a top priority in all the ways the government can spend public money. “It’s not only good for children, it’s also good for your parents’ work,” says Rachidi.
Katie Hamm, senior director of child policy at the left-leaning American progressive center, agrees. Without more public support in the child care industry, she says, demand for baby care will continue to exceed supply. But she focused on core work during the campaign season and focused on the challenges that American workers face in childcare and infrastructure investments. She thinks the two problems are interrelated.
“There seems to be a new consensus that infrastructure investment will be needed both in the incoming administration and in congress,” he said. “A lot of people talk about this and talk about roads and Bridges, but they need to take care of their children before their parents hit the road and support our economy.
For the mother of fremont, California, more quality baby care is unlikely to come soon. She looks forward to any day’s children.
“I’m a little hesitant to even think about childcare,” she says. “It seems to me that I just want to hold him and not let him go, but that’s clearly not practical.