The Childcare Gap is Widening

Source: Alissa Quart, Time, August 16, 2016

….Hanson and other middle class and rural parents are on the receiving end of an emerging type of unequal system that could be called daycare inequality.

Her problem is a familiar one to many mothers who would like to return to the workforce: for the most part, quality daycare is both affordable and accessible for the relatively wealthy only. In 31 states and Washington, D.C., the yearly cost of an infant in a daycare center full time is higher than yearly tuition and fees at a state public college.

Plus, it’s scarce nationwide: Colorado’s licensed daycare spots only meet the needs of a quarter of the state’s young children, for example. In Minnesota, the number of in-home childcare providers in three counties has declined by more than 17% in the last five years, leading to an extreme shortfall. Ditto in North Dakota; there’s a big shortage of childcare providers. And the spots that do exist are hard to find…..