Child care scarcity has very real consequences for working families.
One of the most stressful problems 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. When NPR and the Robert wood Johnson foundation and TH Chan at harvard school of public health at the national more than 1000 parents together about their parenting experiences of investigation, a third of the nursing report is difficult to find.
Extensive searches found few.
Megan carpenter, a new mother who lives in Alexandria, va., knows that looking for safety and quality baby care can be a desperate feeling.
She has a hard deadline – after 16 weeks of her child was born, her maternity leave will be over, 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 health care, only a few months 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, the only question we have is’ do you have a place? ‘”
Again and again, the answer is no. This means a lot of waiting lists – and a heavy, non-refundable waiting fee each time.
“There are a lot of places that are willing to buy our $100 or $200 waiting fee,” carpenter said. “We spent more than $1,000 on waiting – many of which I have never heard of.”
When cora arrived, the couple still had no future.
In the end, the carpenter, and her husband to persuade their mothers leave work time, starting from Georgia and Missouri, took turns in watching cora, open until one of the center.
Scenes like this are all over America. An analysis of about 7,000 postal codes by the center for American progress shows that about half of them are “nursery deserts”.
Although Megan Carpenter’s experience represents a lot of work experience for working parents, Narinder Walia’s is the worst case scenario.
Walia lives in the city of 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 said. “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 are disorganized, she says. The third option, a family facility, raises some red flags. But it’s the best. Walia says her main reservation is that the center caters to young 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. “Caesar called me.” They told her you had to come. Your son is here.
To make Avin to rest on his watch, paid caregivers has put the baby belly in his cradle – this has violated the baby care guidelines of the development of the American academy of pediatrics, 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 caregiver told the fremont police that after about 15 minutes, she had her back on her back and stopped breathing after a short time.
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,” walia said, nervously speaking the day. “He laughs, he is a big baby, chubby, he had no problems, even in the first and second check, doctors are like that,” mother, continue to do what you are doing, baby did a good job. “”
What happens to the walia family is very rare. But the most worrying thing is that parents face strict limits on childcare choices.
“The market doesn’t work.”
These experiences – from subversive setbacks to tragedies – have led many parents to wonder why high quality, licensed baby care in the United States does not meet their needs.
The answer is that child care, especially baby care, is a very low profit area. The costs are high, including real estate, supplies, insurance and, most importantly, the workforce. 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 new United States in a recent report, a non-partisan think-tank, American parents pay $9589 per year on average full-time care for children aged from birth to 4 – this is greater than the average cost of tuition at the university of the state ($9410). Many parents are unable to pay more. So low profits – coupled with high debt and the need to navigate complex regulations – make the business climate unpopular. Moreover, in this case, the waiting list has become a necessary tool for the financial survival of the provider to cushion the gap and loss of revenue.
Still, a few suppliers are thriving. Over the past 30 years, Bright’s company has grown to more than 1,000 childcare centers in 42 states and the district of Columbia.
So, what’s the company’s secret?
“We have persuaded employers to invest more than $1 billion in their working families, both in terms of capital investment and subsidies,” said Dave Lissy, chief executive officer of Bright partners o ns. “It didn’t exist until we first introduced the model.”
Some employers, including home depot, starbucks and chevron, have established partnerships with Bright and the company to build child care centers for their employees. These employers pay most or all of the construction costs.
“After that,” Lissy said, “on average, parents subsidize 75 percent of the money and 25 percent through employer subsidies.” That means parents will have to pay for college and pay more for their employers, who work with Bright partners.
Thanks to the generous underwriting of the employer’s partners, Bright, o ns can build these Bright, cheerful centers. Without that cushion, other child care sectors have low margins, slow growth and fragility.
The weakness of the whole industry is an important finding of new America’s nationwide study of child care.
The study’s author, Brigid Schulte, said: “the thing to remember about child care is that markets do not. “Like education, when you think about the education market, it also doesn’t work, it must get subsidies, it must be regarded as public goods, the same economic logic in  ages five 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 from 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 priority in all the ways the government can spend public money. “It’s not only good for children,” Mr. Lachetti said, “but it also helps with parents’ work.”
Katie ham, 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 licensed baby care will continue to exceed supply. But she is focused on the campaign season, focusing on the challenges that U.S. workers face in childcare and infrastructure investment. She thinks the two problems are interrelated.
“There seems to be some consensus that infrastructure investment will be needed both in the incoming administration and in congress,” he said. “A lot of people are talking about this, and they’re talking about roads and Bridges, but they need childcare before they go down the road and bridge and support our economy.”
For the mother of fremont, California, higher quality infant care is unlikely to come soon. She looks forward to another child of the day.
“I’m still hesitating even if I’m just thinking 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.”
Child care scarcity has very real consequences for working families.