Trading options for the first time daycare
One of the most stressful questions a new parent confronts is, "Who's going to take care of my baby when I go back to work? Figuring out the answer to that question is often not easy.
Chan School of Public Health, surveyed more than 1, parents nationwide about their child care experiences, a third reported difficulty finding care. Megan Carpenter, a new mother who lives in Alexandria, Va. She had a hard deadline — 16 weeks after her baby was born her maternity leave would end and she would have to return to her job at a nonprofit that serves homeless and low-income women. So she and her husband started looking for child care early, only a few months into her pregnancy.
The answer to that question, time and again, was "no. Ultimately, Carpenter and her husband persuaded their mothers to take time away from their jobs and fly out from Georgia and Missouri to watch Cora in shifts until a spot at one of the centers opened up.
Scenarios like this are playing out all around the U. While Megan Carpenter's experience is representative of what many working parents go through, Narinder Walia's is a worst-case scenario. Walia lives in Fremont, Calif. Her baby boy, Avin, trading options for the first time daycare born on Halloween During Walia's four-month maternity leave, trying to find child care nearly became a full-time job. Or they were full. Of the roughly six dozen centers, only three were able to offer her a slot.
Of those, she says, two were messy and disorganized. The third option, an in-home facility, set off some red flags. But it was the best available. Walia says her main reservation was that the center catered to toddlers and older children. Still, the owner assured her, it could handle a baby.
Your son is here. To settle Avin for his first nap on her watch, the paid caregiver had put the baby belly-down in his bassinet — a move that goes against established infant-care guidelines set trading options for the first time daycare the American Academy of Pediatrics and is against standard practice in the infant care field.
Research has established that placing babies belly-down to sleep puts them at higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
The caregiver told Fremont police that she turned Avin onto his back after about 15 minutes, and that he stopped breathing a trading options for the first time daycare time later. On his first day away from his mother, Avin died — he was 3 months old. The coroner's report confirms SIDS as the cause of death. He was a big baby, all chubby. There was nothing wrong with him. Even at the first and second checkup the doctor was like, 'Mama, keep doing what you're doing.
The baby's doing really well. What happened to Walia's family is rare. But it's the deepest fear of parents who face severely limited child care choices. These experiences — from disruptive frustration to tragedy — leave many parents wondering why the supply of quality, licensed infant care in the U.
The answer boils down to the fact that child care, particularly infant care, is an extremely low profit field. Costs are high, factoring in real estate, supplies, insurance and, above all, labor. Many states require a ratio of one caregiver to every three or four babies. And, on the other side of the equation, centers can't significantly raise their prices. Many parents can't afford to pay more. So, low profits — combined with high liability and the need to navigate complex regulations — make for an uninviting business climate.
And, in this climate, the waitlist has become a tool necessary for providers' financial survival, to buffer against unfilled spots and lost income. A select few providers are thriving, though. Over the past 30 years, the company Bright Horizons has grown to operate more than 1, child care centers in 42 states and the District of Columbia.
Some employers, including Home Depot, Starbucks and Chevron, have partnered with Bright Horizons to establish child care centers primarily for their workers. These employers pay most, or even all, of the cost to build the facilities. Bright Horizons is able to build these bright, cheerful centers because of this generous underwriting by employer partners. Without that cushion, the rest of the child care sector is largely operating on trading options for the first time daycare profit margins, slow to grow and fragile.
That industrywide weakness was a central finding of New America's study of child care nationwide. When you look at the education market, it trading options for the first time daycare doesn't work.
It has to be subsidized. It has to be seen as a public good, and the same sort of economic logic works in the [age] 0-to-5 early care and learning situation as well.
We just haven't thought about it like that. The idea of child care trading options for the first time daycare a public good has increasing resonance with policy thinkers from the left and right. Of all the ways the government could spend public money, investing in child care, she says, should be a priority.
Katie Hamm, senior director of early childhood policy at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, agrees. Without much greater public trading options for the first time daycare of the child care industry, she says, demand for licensed infant care will continue to outpace supply. But she takes heart from a campaign season where heavy emphasis was placed on the challenges American workers face when it comes to child care and the need for infrastructure investment.
She sees the two issues as interconnected. But before parents get on roads and bridges and support our economy, they need child care. For Walia, the mother from Fremont, Calif. She is expecting another child any day. But obviously that's not practical. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. Shots - Health News In much of the U. Parents face lengthy waitlists, hefty waitlist fees, and few good options when returning to work after the birth of a baby.
Working Parents' Juggling Act. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email. January 3, 7: Heard on All Things Considered.
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