Last week I wrote the last check I will have to write (hopefully) for childcare during the school year. Once it was entered into Quicken out of curiosity I decided to see how much we had spent for preschool over the past seven years for my two daughters. The total stunned me.
We have spent $85,050. Yes, you read that
correctly. We spent more than $85000 dollars to have our children
taken care of during the week while we were working. And that total
does not include babysitting or meals, those were entered separately, that was
just tuition. I should note that this total would be a lot higher had we
not moved from New England two years ago, and it would have been lower if we
had been in New Mexico the entire time. But our salaries increased and
We did not go with the least expensive preschools we could
find, as we didn't want McDonalds to be the primary competitor for the labor.
But we also did not go anywhere near the most expensive places we could
have gone. We were at the YMCA for a portion of this, and then in a
private provider. This total would also be considerably more except that
we did receive a scholarship for one daughter to attend a preschool at a
church, and my youngest has been in a preschool program at the local elementary
school part-time. So this total could be higher.
What this total represents for our household is basically a
year's income for my wife and me. I have written in the past about the high
cost of preschool, about how important it is, and wondered why it was not
more a part of the national dialogue. And the church is just as
responsible for this lack of dialogue as there is nothing about addressing this
issue in either the Book of Resolutions or the Book of Discipline.
At a time when there is a group set out to destroy public
education as we know it, the education of our children, and its cost, must be
addressed more. It is simply unconscionable that we are willing to spend
more than $25,000 a year for a prisoner, and sometimes gleefully willing, but
complain about the cost of education. We are going to pay either way, and
to me it makes more sense to pay the much smaller amount now, rather than paying
for it later.