….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…..