Monday, May 13, 2013

The High Cost of Child Care

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 decreased commensurately.

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.

1 comment:

  1. It feels so nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on Childcare. Really thank full to you for starting this.