Many individuals do not understand the need that there is for quality child care in America. Mothers, fathers, single family homes, multigenerational homes, blended families, and many other types of families all have a need for quality child daycare. Anyone who needs quality daycare understands the lack of child care any America. However, if you are not in the position of having to find childcare, the options available may seem sufficient. Here are some reasons that we need quality daycare and barriers to quality daycare in America.
In today’s economic world most parents are working. The days of stay-at-home parenting is almost over. In fact, it is rare to find a family in today’s world to find a stay-at-home parent. Parents must go to work to provide for their families. In fact, most stay-at-home parents these days do not actually stay at home parents. Most are students trying to gain an education so that they can enter the workforce. Numerous families either do not have the family support to leave their children with family members while they are at work or the family support they have is also in the workforce. With the increase of lifespan, individuals are staying in the workforce for longer periods of time. Economically, being able to work more is a good thing, but it causes an issue in what to do with the children while at work. There is a real need for a safe and affordable place to take our children while we are working.
One of the biggest barriers to quality daycare is the cost. With the need of quality daycare continuously on the rise, the cost of daycare is continuously rising as well. Low-income families can typically get subsidies and assistance to pay for child care while they work. High-income families can typically afford to send their children to quality daycare programs while they are at work. If a low-income family is unable to gain subsidies or assistance for quality daycare, then child care becomes a barrier to employment. This can cause a family in poverty to remain in poverty. Middle-income families typically have no chance of qualifying for assistance. Childcare can put a huge strain on the budget and can quickly have middle and lower-class families struggling with a decision of making ends meat or staying at home with the children. Cost is one of the biggest barriers to quality child care and quality child care is needed for families to be able to work.
Another barrier to quality daycare is safety. We live in a scary world. There are reports all over the media of children being abused and/or hurt while at daycare. This makes finding the right facility essential and difficult. It is critical that families are comfortable with where their children are during the day. Worrying about the safety of our children is normal, but it can also affect our work performance. It is important that parents conduct thorough research on each facility to ensure their children are safe while the parents are working. There are certain qualities that can be looked at to determine whether the children in the facility are safe. Parents can look at the equipment that is being used, the training of the staff involved, any licenses that the facility holds (licensure typically indicates a higher level of accountability for the facility and its employees), and the structure of the facility. By looking at things such as classroom size and the age groups and each classroom you can get a feel for whether the teachers are likely to become overwhelmed and how much attention they are going to be able to provide to each individual child.
Pulling it All Together
Quality and affordable child daycare options are critical in America. It is needed for parents to be able to work and provide for their children. It is also critical that parents know their children are safe and cared for while they are at work.