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Childcare in America....

Rachel Jordan Photography

Can we talk about the cost of childcare for a hot minute?

Our oldest is in summer camp. She’s 6 and goes 5 days a week. It costs $193 a week or approximately $863mo (4.5 weeks since most months are not exactly 4 weeks). We can drop her off as early as 7am and pick up as late as 6 pm. Most days she’s dropped around 8:15 and picked up by 4:30 for anything we have planned as a family.

Now I’ve toured exactly one day care for the baby that is due in October. It’s a beautiful facility and the care takers all seem very competent. For babies under 12 months, it’s $1,519 (nearly as much as our mortgage).

But never fear, they are already booked until next June of 2020. If we want to reserve that start date, we have to pay registration ($75.00) and first months tuition to hold the spot.

So even though our first born will be returning to school at the end of this month, when she’s in summer camp next year, and littlest one is at day care, we’re looking at $2,387 for two kids to be in care.

Look I get it, we decided to have kids so why should anyone else care?

Here’s why: we are currently 2 parents both working in jobs that serve the economy and our community. If one of us stops working, it means that not only does our income drop by 1/2 but suddenly we are all no longer contributing to all the things we were before (taxes, economic activity, etc)

With our first born, I was home because I had to be. But it also meant that getting work took nearly 4 years because of the “gap” in my work. Now with my 2nd I'll have 12 weeks before I have to return to work, and those are only going to be paid because I have enough PTO saved up if I accept a 75% pay rate. And I'm one of the lucky ones.

So here I am, wondering what would American look like if we truly cared about the "least of these"? What it would look like if we made certain that ever child had a safe place to be while their parents worked, or gave real support to mothers recovering from child birth. What would happen if we lived in a society that truly helps its neighbors for the betterment of all of us?

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