Quality, affordable childcare is a topic that is on the minds of many working parents these days. Even more so with the forced closures of schools, businesses, restaurants and even some daycare centers nationwide. The child care system in the United States has always been a fragile system. Finding high quality care is not the only challenge that families face. They also face the struggle of finding affordable childcare in an already limited market.
While this post is sponsored, all my opinions are my own. You can find my full disclosures HERE.
Quality Childcare is Hard to Find
When my son was born over 8 years ago, the childcare system was severely lacking in the state of Maine. Not only was it difficult to find a daycare with openings, it was a struggle to find a daycare that I could afford on the salary that I was bringing home. Eventually I was able to find a center that I could afford and trusted. However, I was placed on a waitlist and had to rely on family to watch my son when I returned to work. The situation was even more dire when my daughter was born a little over two years ago.
Hearing from others how many quality daycare centers were full and had year long waitlists, I began my search before my daughter was even born. I placed my child on a waiting list 3 months before she even entered this world and still had to wait ’til she was 6 months old for her to have a spot at the daycare. Not only was this one of the only centers in my area that opened early enough to accommodate my work schedule as a nurse, but the cost of care was something we could afford.
Research has shown that children with access to early quality care and learning in the first few years of life is crucial to build a strong foundation that allows children to succeed. This made finding quality daycare that much more stressful.
Childcare in the times of COVID-19
With the spread of COVID-19 families are suddenly finding themselves without childcare. Many people who are considered essential workers are now struggling to find childcare in an already fragile economy and limited daycare facilities. Currently many daycare facilities are closed and payment from families is still expected. This is causing many families to pull their children indefinitely due to the financial strain.
Thankfully my daycare facility for my daughter is still open. However, many centers are not open and once this crisis passes we will be faced with a new childcare crisis. High quality, affordable childcare was limited before the COVID-19 pandemic, and now that the fragile childcare ecosystem is significantly strained, it will be far more challenging once this time passes.
How you can help
Care for All Children has created a non-partisan educational campaign focused solely on childcare affordability in the United States. More than 20% of American families are going into debt paying for childcare. Not only are they focused on affordable childcare, but quality childcare as well. Since over two thirds of children under the age of 5 have two parents in the household in the workforce, children are spending more time in childcare settings.
This means that not only is affordability an issue, quality childcare is just as important.
So how can you help? Care for All Children is working hard to change the way presidential candidates think about affordable childcare in the United States. To find out more about Care for All Children, why every child deserves access to high quality childcare and to sign the petition urging presidential candidates to make affordable childcare a platform issue head to https://actv.at/7CP/
Other ways to get involved? Share this petition with your friends, families, co-workers and encourage them to sign as well. Share your story about how this issue has impacted your life. You can join the #CareForAllChildren campaign to share your story on social platforms. You can send a letter directly to the presidential candidate of your choice. As always make sure to get out and vote! Make sure to follow Care for All Children in order to stay updated.
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