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Many people who want to work, can't afford to: child care costs too much. They're trapped on public assistance, or only one parent in the family is able to work. Meanwhile, we have 14 million out of work.

The answer is simple: a massive federally funded day care program, one that puts millions of Americans to work, both directly - working in day care - and indirectly, by making virtually free day care available so that parents see the full gains from taking a job.

By my estimates, such a program could send our unemployment rate to below 4%, with no assumptions about economic growth (seriously, none).  For a net cost that is about double what the Department of Defense spends just on weapons research per year.

Head below the fold to see how.

For most working parents, child care is by far the greatest expense. In 2010, the cost of putting two children in child care exceeded median annual rent payments in every state, according to a report by Child Care Aware of America.

Depending on the state you live in, child care costs for a two parent family can range as high as 16% of annual income.

In the last fiscal year, combined state and federal funding for child care assistance fell by 2 percent to $12 billion, according to a 46-state analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Federal stimulus money gave a temporary boost to the subsidies, but nearly all that money stopped in 2011.

In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 22 states reported declines in their budgets for child care subsidies, according to the state legislative group. Some of these declines were huge: 25 percent decline in California, 30 percent in Hawaii and 10 percent in Michigan.

The goal of the programs is to subsidize the cost of day care to help keep poor parents, many of them single mothers, working. Over time, the subsidy is scaled back as parents advance in the labor force and wean themselves off government assistance.  The trouble is, that creates a disincentive to get off of government assistance, it essentially punishes success.

Some parents give up jobs and turn to the welfare system if they can't find affordable child care, but that isn't an option for those who have already used up their entitlements, said Danielle Ewen, a past director of child care and early education for the Center for Law and Social Policy.


"For those families, there is absolutely no safety net and we don't know what is happening to their kids, but it is absolutely scary to think," Ewen said. "It becomes a very desperate, horrible cycle for poor families who are doing everything they can possibly do to become self-sufficient."

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, head of the mother's advocacy group MomsRising, says having a baby is a leading cause of temporary poverty. Many women with no maternity leave end up quitting their jobs to care for a baby.


"And when they lose those needed jobs, it's very hard to get back into the labor force," she says, "because all of a sudden, we have a cascading impact of motherhood. Right now, child care costs more than university costs in many states in our nation."

And let's make no mistake: Poverty rate for single moms is astounding. Sources vary, this one puts it at 40% is 2010

( Other sources have very different numbers.  Reliable data seems hard to come by in this area, probably because there are no widely accepted definitions and standards, so you can't get an apples to apples. )

Now we do have some assistance for single parents. But its a labrynthine system and navigating it is a joke for someone who is already working full time and trying to take care of kids.

Let's simplify the whole thing. And put America to work. What we need is a massive day care program, one that would both function as a jobs program - putting millions of Americans to work in the day care centers - and a way to free up parents, especially single parents, to go out and take jobs, putting their familie on a true path to prosperity.

This country has approximately 85 million children, about 26% of those raised by single parents.

Let's say we create free (or close to free, nominal fee) daycare for half of them.  That's day care for 10 million children.

Looking around at average costs for licensed day care centers, prices run around $8 to $12 per hour per child.  Lets price it at the high end of that: $12 per hour per child, and assume we are keeping the child 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, 50 weeks per year.

That gives us a baseline cost of $240 billion dollars.

Sounds like a lot, right?  But hold on.  

With a staff to child ratio of five to one (easlily supported on this cost model), you have just created 2 million jobs.  Congratulations, unemployment just went down by 1.5%.

We've just gotten two million people off of public assistance or unemployment, because we gave them jobs.  Even if the person taking the job isn't on public assistance, by their taking the job, they free one up.  Their pay are in dollars that are high velocity - poor people spend their money - so you get large knock-on effect. At $12 an hour, you're paying each worker $24,000 a year. Pricing that at 10% return in tax revenue - a pretty modest assumption, since pay to poor people generally has over $1.50 in stimulus value - we get $9.6 billion back in direct tax revenues

Assumung public assistance costs - food stamps, unemployment, housing subsidies, etc. - of a modest $5,000 a year (a very, very low estimate) yields another $20 billion in savings.

Since the average single parent has about 1.5 children at home (not far off from the general population, by the way), day care for 10 million kids frees up 6.5 million parents to go out and work. Assuming a modest $5K in tax revenue, both direct and (via economic activity/growth) indirect, we get another $50 billion in tax reveue.

That in turn is a whopping decrease in the unemployment rate.  With fourteen million unemployed now, our day care program reduces unemployment to 12 million, and now with an additional 6.5 million people able to go to work because they're getting free day care, you have now reduced unemployment by more than half - you're at about 3.9%.  

That means we've knocked a third off of the cost so far, $80 billion. This, before we even consider the contribution to GDP from putting 8.5 million Americans to work. And economists generally agree that when you get unemployment below 5%, labor markets get tight and wages go up.  Which in turn raises tax revenues further.  

$160 billion per year sounds like a lot, but let's put that in perspective.  The Department of Defense spends $80 billion a year just for research in to new weapons.  Just. for. research.

With 11 aircraft carrier groups - each carrier holds 90 fighter planes, each plane is well over $100 million each, we have room to trim, in just the Navy alone. To give one example, there is a tradition that when crews are rotated, it is done by sending the ship back to its home port.  Which made sense prior to the invention of the airplane.

If we merely changed to flying crews out to the nearest military port to rotate crews, we could reduce ship count by 30% without reducing patrol coverage in the least. Big hunks of savings, before we even cut the bloated coverage numbers.

And there are plenty of other places to cut.  The F-35 JSF plane, a new stealth fighter, runs about $335 million per example.  How many of these do we need to fight guys with AK-47s and IEDs?

Time permitting, I'll write a diary digging in to the DOD's budget, showing where we can trim $160 billion with no loss in the ability to defend our interests or project force.  In fact, its not hard to configure our forces to be able to respond faster, with greater lethality, and with better-equipped forces, for a whole lot less money.  Hint: you have to admit the Cold War is over, and there will be no massive invasion of Europe from the east to repel.  

And let's not forget the Bush tax cuts: the amount going to the top 2% is $80 billion a year, or half the net cost of my ambitious day care program.

Some will be ready to declare this proposal heresy: get people off of public assistance? Isn't that a right wing talking point?

Why yes, yes it is.  And one they lie about: they don't want to get people in to jobs, which costs money, they just want to kick them off of assistance.  This program, though ambitious, frees up parents to go to work, without being crippled by day care costs.  It puts people to work, in a scale not seen since the WPA of the New Deal.  It actually invests tax dollars in a way that both lowers costs in other areas, and grows the economy.  

In short, it puts Americans to work. And while we're at it, provides a healthy, safe environment for 10 million American kids.  Whats not to like?

Originally posted to Things That Fell From My Brain on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 11:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Amen. I Don't Have Any Children (11+ / 0-)

    but my much younger brother does. Both he and his wife work.  They got married in their mid-30s when both had pretty solid careers. They quickly had a child after marriage, cause well her biological clock was ticking.

    Katie is 3. They pay a small fortune in daycare for her. I didn't ask what they pay, and I live in a smaller rural town area, but it is at least $500/week.

    In 1969 when I was born my mother stopped going to grad school. Went to work while my father was finishing his PhD to pay for me and daycare. Then my brother was born and she never made it back to work.

    My dad is smart. My mom is smarter. But as a women having kids she could never get back to work. No telling what she would have done.

    Now my brother and his wife pay a large part of their income just to "house" Katie so they can work to pay their bills.

    Something is wrong, wrong, wrong here on many different levels.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 11:43:29 PM PDT

    •  You might want to double check this. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, ubertar, Roadbed Guy

      $500 per week sounds unreasonable unless they splurged on the strange idea that bringing in a stranger into your home for 9 hours is a better environment than taking your child to a care-giver's home or day care center for $150 per week.

      •  Not unreasonable at all (10+ / 0-)

        The lowest I have seen here in MA is $10/hour for daycare - and that would be through a friend. If you figure commute time and such, you are looking at 9 hours per day, 5 days per week, for a total of $450/week - and again, that is through a personal friend.

        The real kick is if you or the kid gets sick. The week must be paid in advance, and individual days are non-refundable. This means you are out the money for the sick day, as well as possibly not having sick time yourself. Plus, if you are late for pick-up, the common practice is to charge at least one additional hour, at 150% hourly rate (call it time and a half), in this case an additional $15 minimum.

        That's why I stay home with the midget.

        "The less time you have, the more you need to use it wisely." - Cpt. Avatar, Starblazers

        by DeathDlr73 on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 07:37:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Where I live, here in Springfield, infant (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IT Professional, FG

        daycare (under 2 years) IS close to $500 per month at a mid range center ($465 somebody told me recently) but drops to about $280 after that.  So yeah, $500 a month for a 3 year seems awfully high for a rural area.

    •  Wrong? (0+ / 0-)

      It was their decision.  They could have just as easily decided not to have any kids at all, like my 2 daughters have decided.

      Your brother makes a life decision knowing full well what the costs would be, and you decry it as "wrong, wrong, wrong"?  And you expect me to pay for their decision??

      •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pedmom, lonespark

        It's called "doing your bit to keep civilization going."

      •  Why not? You're already paying ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, Catherine R

        ... for salaries and gold-standard healthcare for a Congress that seems to specialize in doing everything BUT work.

        You're certainly going to see a better return on those dollars spent on childcare than we are currently seeing from what's being spent on Congress.

        •  I can get an even better return (0+ / 0-)

          paying his brother's condom bill.. no children wanting my tax dollars!

        •  enufisenuf - members of Congress have the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FG

          exact same health insurance plan as all other federal government employees, except the armed forces. They also have the same retirement program. What's wrong with that?

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:09:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  what's wrong with congress getting a (0+ / 0-)

            gold standard healthcare plan & generous retirement program -- even if it's the same one other federal employees have?

            47% of members of congress are fucking millionaires, for one.  let them pay their own way & get a feel for how the 99% live.

            •  In your view should federal employee benefits (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FG

              and retirement plans now be need based for all federal employees? I think the fact that members of Congress are treated like all other federal employees is only fair.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 05:09:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  no federal employee benies & retirement (0+ / 0-)

                plans should be needs-based EXCEPT those of members of congress & their staffs.

                when ALL federal employees enjoy the perks congress critters do, like paid junkets to foreign countries for absolutely no reason or access to insider trading info on stocks, then i'll agree with you on the fairness point.

      •  Compromise is important (0+ / 0-)

        Government is built on the idea of us collectively paying for a lot of things none of us individually may ever need, want or use, which,  nonetheless contribute vastly to the health of the overall civilization we live in.

        If my tax dollars go to fund wars, espionage and torture I in no way support I think asking people to pony-up for something that actually will (indirectly) improve your and my quality of life isn't that much of a stretch. ;p

  •  I'd go one step further (15+ / 0-)

    and credit SAHM/Fs with medicare and SS benefits/payments.

    It is patently insane to devalue child rearing by not doing so. If we go through the convoluted steps to help people to work by obviously paying people to watch their children, we should recognize that Parental caretaking is work and compensate fairly.

    •  The parent taking care of the children should (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tikkun, Linda Wood

      demand a fair wage and benefits from the other.  

      If they won't pay, take them to court and the court will make them pay.  This has been going on for many years.

       It's called child support enforcement.

      •  No. (9+ / 0-)

        I'm talking about married/together persons. Child care is so expensive, in order for both spouses to work, wages/salary has to outstrip costs for child care. Why should a spouse go to work only to pay all that he/she has earned into childcare?

        It makes no sense. And on top of that, they are penalized by not accruing any money or future benefits.

        The best you can expect is exemptions on income taxes which is puny and only applies to the household.

        The truth is we don't value child rearing. Mothers/Homemakers are now unpaid pariahs.....the silent underclass with no old age benefits.

      •  Child support doesn't work that way. (4+ / 0-)

        Base child support in the state of Florida (given the non residential parent is working minimum wage) is $280 a month. That's not a "fair wage and benefits" and it's not supposed to be. It's supposed to be a percentage of the child's upkeep. Unfortunately, if you're a single parent also making minimum wage, what they consider a fair percentage doesn't cover 2 weeks of child care in most cases, let alone how much it actually costs to raise that child (food, clothing, etc). If they owe back support you may get a bit more than that. I get $300 a month with $20 a month coming from back support.
        Then you consider how long the money takes to get to you, and if the other parent is laid off, or changes jobs there's another big gap in payments. You never know when it's going to arrive, so you can't really budget it well, etc.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 05:51:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WheninRome, Odysseus

          given the non-residential parent is making minimum wage, $280/month is a hell of a lot of money. That leaves said parent with roughly $740/month (assuming no income tax withholding and no health insurance, just SS/Medicare taxes) to get by on.

          Given the complete, total, utter lack of a social safety net for healthy adults without children in their custody, it's barely even possible to live on that.

          The issue isn't that child support is set too low, it's that minimum wage is too low.

          "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

          by kyril on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 09:09:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, WheninRome

            But the original comment was that child support was paying a "fair wage and benefit" to the other parent. And that's not what it is, nor what it's supposed to be. It's a percentage of responsibility. My point is it's rarely an even percentage with the  residential parent.

            "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

            by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 09:39:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  WOMEN WHO WORK OUTSIDE THE HOME CAN RETIRE (9+ / 0-)

      relatively safely

       If a woman works outside the home, she pays into SS and other retirement programs.  If she works at home, she loses her opportunity to pay into retirement funds.  If she works outside the home everybody along the ine pays into some kind of retirement program and everyone is assured some kind of money coming in whet their work years are over.  

      I watched the last generation of women who didn't have any control over their reproduction who ended up working at home full time, slide into poverty when they were widowed, divorced or abandoned because they HAD CONTRIBUTED LITTLE OR NOTHING to their RETIREMENT.  

      Unless and until women are compensated for their work at home, they are financially vulnerable all of their lives.  

      There is a value to working outside the home despite the cost of childcare.  

      Just a note...professional couples are spending 25000 to 35000 a year for Montessori Early Educaiton and other premiere early education programs because they know it will have a direct affect on the long term education of their children.

      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

      by tikkun on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 07:59:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another logic flaw.... (9+ / 0-)
    ...an additional 6.5 million people able to go to work because they're getting free day care, you have now reduced unemployment by more than half - you're at about 3.9%.

    While you show where 6.5 million available workers would come from, you did not explain where these 6.5 million jobs were going to appear from.

  •  Question (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ginny in CO, GRLionsFan, Linda Wood, VClib, FG
    Time permitting, I'll write a diary digging in to the DOD's budget, showing where we can trim $160 billion with no loss in the ability to defend our interests or project force
    What will you do for the people whose jobs are currently being supported by the DOD projects with the $160 million you speak of?  

    Where will these newly unemployed people work?

    •  Somewhere more productive than the DoD. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Linda Wood, Odysseus

      While the salaries paid to defense workers circulate in the economy like any other money, the output of their labor has no practical use, so capital expenditures in defense industries are a dead end.

      •  Precisely. A tank is totally useless in peace (0+ / 0-)

        time. That is money spent with no returns. Besides a lot of the money spent in defense is not on the wages of the people working in the  defense industry- it's for all manners of exotic titanium and uranium and the like.

        •  Where did the money go? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          The "exotic titanium and uranium and the like" had to be mined, sold, accounted for, delivered, stored somehow.  

          These are all jobs that many communities depend on.

          If the contract is cancelled so are all the jobs that grant supported.  

          To see the impact, replace $x millions with the phrase "$x millions worth of jobs".   Then you will have a better understanding of why it is not that easy to solve a problem without creating another.

          •  My point is that defense spending is a black hole (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FloridaSNMOM

            Not all forms of 'spending' generates the same result. Spending $100million on a highway generates lots of economic  benefits because lots of people will be utilizing that highway to go places and ship goods.  Spending $100million on a F22 Raptor is not the same thing, even though it also provides jobs. The spending on the Raptor only provides jobs to the immediate employees who are employed in that program. There is no amplification effect precisely because a F22 raptor is totally useless in peacetime. Worse than useless because it burns up valuable fuel just to keep it operational.

            Back to the diary- the spending on the baby sitters has an amplification effect because 1 babysitter could free up 2-4 mothers to work or do whatever else economic activities.

            In general- passing out money among the poor generates the most amplification because they consume that money in short order. Lots of consumers making lots of consumption decisions is better for the functioning free market, than a few consumers making a few consumption decisions. For the same reason that the free-marketers say capitalism is better than central planning. Because there is a better chance the a multitude of decision makers could arrive at the right answer through the 'wisdom of the crowds, and reward good actors and punish bad actors on the market, than a small cadre of central planners.

        •  icemilkcoffee - "a tank is totally useless (0+ / 0-)

          in peace time" is not an accurate statement. When you need a tank it's something that takes a long time to build and train the people to use it. So while I agree with your basic premise that our defense budget is too large, the planes, tanks, APVs, ships, artillery pieces, and all the high tech gear, take a long time to produce and an even longer time to train the people to use them at a high level of proficiency. When you need them, you want them available immediately.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 05:17:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Daycare centers? eom (0+ / 0-)
  •  We already have this free daycare (0+ / 0-)

    program you want!  It's called the public school system.  

    You should check it out.  Your state probably has one.

    •  There are problems with this idea... (10+ / 0-)

      as I said in my post upthread. You would have to have a job that works around sick days, teacher work days, early release days, school vacations, etc. PLUS you would have to be working part time hours only because you have to be home to get your kid on and off the bus. It is illegal in many states to leave kids younger than 12 or 13 home alone. Yes, people still do it in desperation, but you risk having your child taken away if something goes wrong and you get caught. Finding an employer willing to work around a kid's school schedule is nearly impossible, even in minimum wage service industries, maybe especially in those.
      Otherwise you're still paying for daycare. It may be a bit cheaper, because you're only paying for part time most of the year, but you still have to pay for daycare.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 06:01:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  babies and toddlers. no dice. (6+ / 0-)

      Mitt Romney = Draco Malfoy

      by ubertar on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 06:48:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Which planet do you live on, IT Prof? (9+ / 0-)

      If you went to public school, you must have had some clue that public school hours are not at all in sync with adults' employment hours.

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 06:53:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The minimum age for public school (9+ / 0-)

      is 5, and that's dependent on the date of the child's birth. The average daycare cost is around $400 a week, though it can dip to $200. The average salary for a day care worker is $9.80 an hour, though I've seen less in ads.

      I don't have children, but I have enough friends who do, and even here in New Orleans it is quite expensive to put children into day-care, and then, of course, once they're in school they still get out around 3:00, so there's another two hours minimum to cover if one doesn't take into account the time to travel to the day-care facility.

      IT Professional, you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, or spend all night listening to a baby cry?

      "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H.L. Mencken, 1925

      by cv lurking gf on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 07:00:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  where do those numbers come from? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, IT Professional, cv lurking gf

        I'm curious because in my neighborhood in NYC, there are several day cares that cost $150 per week, so an average of $400 seems excessive, especially because I'd expect NYC prices would be higher than most places. On the other hand I'm sure day care costs in wealthier areas of the city are much more expensive than in my neighborhood.

        Mitt Romney = Draco Malfoy

        by ubertar on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 09:08:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you. It is $100/wk for infants where I live (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cv lurking gf

          and $50/wk before/after school for school age.  

          If both parents use their vacations days separately, that covers all the sick days etc.

          We have teenagers at home now so I know what I am talking about.  The infant days are the hardest, because they need 24 hour supervised care, but it can be done, and those infant days go by very fast.  

          Child rearing is not a lifetime commitment, unless you have a special needs child.  You are able to work for the 10 years to get full SS benefits even if you have made the choice to be at home for children before school.

          •  You're assuming parents get vacation days. (6+ / 0-)

            You're talking much higher working conditions than any I've ever been in. I think I had one job with vacation days, back before I had kids. If you're working a minimum wage job, if you're in retail or service or food, you won't be getting vacation days. If you've been there over a year (at full time hours, which they tend to avoid) you may qualify for family leave act time, maybe, if you jump through all the hoops they want you to jump through quickly enough to actually qualify for them. And often common days that are taken off are first come first serve, and there are often blacked out days between Thanksgiving and Christmas in retail when you can't take vacation days at all.

            "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

            by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 12:08:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  $100 a week?! Where do I sign up? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cv lurking gf

            Care in our semi-rural area is $8-$10 per hour. I have investigated our options here and have never seen, found, or heard of care for $100 a week at any age. We would all jump on that. How do they make that work fiscally? Is it some sort of co-op?

            "Lady, that baby couldn't possibly be mine. I raped you." Magic ladyparts strike again.

            by LaraJones on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 11:35:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I googled it, plus the man I work for (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Linda Wood, FloridaSNMOM, lonespark

          paid much more for his two children before they started elementary school. Now they're both in school but no aftercare this year because he and his wife are trying to save some money. Up in Georgia one sibling would have paid that much for each, but his wife works and he tends to the chillun. Other friends paid similar amounts, around $2-4000 a month.

          "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H.L. Mencken, 1925

          by cv lurking gf on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 04:40:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "I googled it" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cv lurking gf

            is not a source. I could google too, but I'd only be guessing at what your actual source was. So I have no way to judge the value of the information. A link would have been helpful.
            Child care is expensive. My wife and I can't afford the 150 a week it costs here, so my daughter only goes two days a week so I can get at least some of my work for my small business done. The rest gets done when (if) she naps and after she goes to bed.

            Mitt Romney = Draco Malfoy

            by ubertar on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 06:06:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're right; sorry. My search was (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ubertar

              the phrase "childcare cost per week" and here are some sources - http://community.stretcher.com/... and http://www.daycarematch.com/... . Another I used was from the YMCA but I didn't save it. I also went by conversations with friends, locally and in other states.

              "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H.L. Mencken, 1925

              by cv lurking gf on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 06:13:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks. The numbers in the first link (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cv lurking gf

                are around the 150 it is around here. The second is ambiguous as to what time period they're talking about. They say it's for a child attending 5 days per week, but don't specify if the price is for a week or a month or what. Also, it's only counting center-based child care, which is more expensive than home-based. The numbers further down are annual, and give separate numbers for home and center based, so those are more useful. The #s for CA work out to $147 a week for home-based, and $235 for center-based, for infants. Looking at the other states, some are a little more, some a little less. The CA results seem around average. The numbers at the top of the page may be for two weeks, but who knows.

                Mitt Romney = Draco Malfoy

                by ubertar on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 06:40:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  So the public schools take (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, kyril, Linda Wood, lonespark

      6 mo old babies now?

      You must live in a really strange place.

      •  They don't stay 6 months for long. (0+ / 0-)

        Stay home with them.  There's plenty of time for a career.

        •  Stay home with them.. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cai, lonespark, MiddleClassMom

          so then how do you pay your rent, and electric and diapers? You can't always AFFORD to stay home with them. However, you're bringing home a minuscule amount after that $180 - $250 a week infant day care bill. At least it's enough to have something to pay your bills with, sometimes with your partner's income just barely enough, if you are thrifty, get food stamps, and can stay healthy enough to keep working and your kid doesn't get sick.

          "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

          by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 12:10:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Because it's so easy to get a job these days, (4+ / 0-)

          and businesses are so kind to parents who are out of the workforce for a time.

          © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

          by cai on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 03:47:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You do have a point... (0+ / 0-)

          ...parents could get rid of the things they don't need, like water or even electricity. Most people live by water...electricity is a luxury.

        •  That might work for couples (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mskitty

          where one makes enough to support three people, even if one of them is small.  But it doesn't start to address poor working households where two people have to work to keep a roof up and food on the table, or, in my case, I was a single working mother who had no choice but to go to work and spend 25% of my wages on childcare.  

          "Those who can make you believe in absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

          by dancerat on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 09:08:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Part of the reason we left NYC. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep, kyril, VClib, markdd, randomfacts

    The cost of daycare there is just astronomical.  We've moved to another state, and the cost is a fraction of the cost in NYC.  So why would supply be so inelastic?  Why haven't more started in order to drive the cost down?  When my spouse and I were considering forming a preschool co-op, it blew my mind how much regulation and red tape there was, so query whether expensive regulation in this instance is a way for existing daycares to lock out competition and extract rents.  

    •  This is a point everyone ignores. I know (7+ / 0-)

      someone who was a stay-at-home spouse and wanted to start a day-care service in the neighborhood. This was almost 20 years ago, but I remember that the state and local regulations essentially outlawed this business for normal people. Child care services requires a large capital outlay for a huge insurance policy and a whole stack of requirements for average floor area and kitchen space per child, etc. Child care in the USA is expensive not because of the wages of the employees, these are far too low, but for the costs of government compliance. Some view this as a good thing, as it keeps amateurs out of a serious business.

      I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

      by shann on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 04:30:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some view this as a good thing (7+ / 0-)

        because it provides guidelines that prevent some of the worst abuses.

        If a babysitter can just decide to become a day care center and take in 12 kids, there should be controls to make sure she is capable of safely caring for those kids.

        •  It puts daycare out of the reach of everyone (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Linda Wood, nextstep, VClib

          but the affluent.  So there's some good in over the top regulation, but it comes w/ a very clear tradeoff.

          •  Maybe there's a point to this, though. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus

            Maybe what you're looking at is that you get what you pay for and that what you want is for someone to give loving, alert, knowledgeable, skilled and intelligent care to your child. Full time.

            Why should this be cheap? Why should this be covered by a massive government program paid for by loans to the government from crooked banks, just so a couple can make otherwise unaffordable mortgage payments to those same banks?

            Maybe the best and most affordable plan is for parents to take care of their own kids and to say to the banks, your appraisal and your mortgage for our house is unaffordable, unless we cheap out the care of our children, which we can't in conscience do.

        •  But there should be SOME leeway (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep, VClib

          if you only want to take in 1 or 2 kids, and you're willing to have a home inspection and take moderate safety requirements (based on the ages of the children, of course), you should need only moderate insurance coverage, a release/medical form from the parents, a food handler certificate (so you have your shots and a TB test) and be subject to random inspections/visits for compliance with the safety/food handling requirements.

          If you want to start a day care CENTER, of course the requirements should be different.

          I just looked up the regulations here, and family child care is CONSIDERABLY different than a full day care center. Cost to be licensed is minimal, and the requirements are less stringent.

          •  I don't know the rules now (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Linda Wood, redlum jak

            on taking in 1 or 2 kids. I do remember back when there were no rules, when I was looking for daycare for my daughter who is now grown. It was not unusual for a woman operating an unregulated day care center in her home to have 8 or 10 kids under her care. There were no standards back then.

    •  I'm beginning to feel (0+ / 0-)

      that the rules here in WA are being bent to favor the corporate houses over small businesses like mine.  But most of the corporate centers limit the number of kids on assistance that they accept.  Some are like only 10% of capacity.  For most centers that's like 8-12 kids.

      “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

      by markdd on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:20:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's an interesting question. My friend's wife (0+ / 0-)

      started daycare in NYC a few years ago and it seems to be doing pretty well. I assume that high startup costs and regulations make it difficult to start new ones. Looks at the situation with cabs in NYC. Same story.

  •  They certainly implemented nationwide day care (10+ / 0-)

    during WWII when they needed women to work in factories to free the men to serve in combat.  Oh, boy, suddenly day care was a good thing and day care facilities sprang up all over the place.  No one whined about how traumatizing it was for young children if their mothers went to work.  No, it was all "Let's win the war!"

    A system of day care such as the diarist describes would be eminently feasible and would certainly lower the unemployment rate.  Problem is--our politicians aren't sufficiently intelligent (if Rethug) or strong-spined (if Democratic) to promote and pass enabling legislation.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 06:51:33 AM PDT

  •  How about a system that gives one parent the (4+ / 0-)

    option of staying at home with their child until he/she reaches school age--by paying them a salary during the time they are home--or giving them access to full time daycare if they choose to work outside the home or go to school?

    The infrastructure is already in place to provide a nationwide daycare program for school age kids--merely extend the school day so that the children whose parents work can stay at school until 6 or 7 pm. The schools could provide after school tutoring and activities for the children--which would also help to improve the educational system overall. And since school districts already have personnel who are trained in caring for children with special needs, it wouldn't be hard for them to add staff to their special ed program who could work with the kids after school. Parents raising special needs children often have an almost impossible task in obtaining child care for their children--and this would provide a solution to that problem.

    •  Some schools have extended day programs. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tonyahky, lonespark

      But they are limited in the number of kids they can take on, and some have long waiting lists. I like the idea though in general, to expand it, especially for special needs. I know I would have had a very hard time finding daycare for my son, especially as he needed it past 'normal' daycare age. One benefit to FloridaSNDad being disabled, daycare was never a huge issue for us as he was home anyway. But having something there so we could have gotten a break would have been nice. Not for every day, but once in a while.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 07:45:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One thought that occurred to me is that now (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, Odysseus, lonespark

        that the ACA has passed, it may be easier for parents to get certain services for their special needs kids--such as speech or occupational therapy. Wouldn't it be great if special needs kids could get those services after school? Providers could come to the schools and work with the kids there--and simply bill the family's insurance. A lot of families whose children need these kinds of services often have to try to juggle work and their children's appointments--this would make it much easier for the families.

        And if the schools had extended school days, the busing system that is already in place could transport children home whose parents can not pick them up from school.

  •  There is a program in place for this.... (7+ / 0-)

    Head Start and it's partner Early Head Start....Unfortunately the budget cuts to services have been so deep to both programs it doesn't begin to fully meet the needs of the community each program serves.

    The problem is the income guidelines only allow the neediest of the poor--and having a job is not a requirement of qualifying for the program.

    Head Start was not created as a pre-school education program under LBJ, but times have changed and so has the program. Although HS does offer parent training and help accessing various government and community resources.

    I'm in a rush and apologize for this hit and run comment--There is SO much more the HS and EHS programs...If the powers that be would just expand the program income requirements to reach more parents, I really believe the benefits to working parents would be significant.

    One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors - Plato 427-347BC

    by left over flower child on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 07:57:26 AM PDT

    •  Out here the Head Start programs (3+ / 0-)

      tend to be for only a few hours per day and sometimes only 1 or 2 days a week.  Might help on preparing a child for school, but not a child care option.

      “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

      by markdd on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:15:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's just it... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        markdd, cai, FloridaSNMOM, lonespark

        The programs vary from place to place...In the larger counties here in Texas, Head Starts operate as a full fledged day care center meeting both the state day care requirements and federal guides placed on Head Start programs.

        If the programs were expanded instead of being cut every time the budget fights come up, they would serve as viable child care options.

        Head Start funding is done in a block grant, every program is different and based on community needs. The bigger the community, the larger the needs base, the more money and ability to create child care facilities.

        There is no way Head Start can be THE government run program, we need stipends for existing child care facilities--And again, the government guides on income compliance needs to be expanded to include more families.

        In fairness, I worked for Head Start for a number of years as a disability coordinator for a program encompassing nine counties. During my time Head Start moved from being a parent training/home visitor program to a full center based child care option. It can be done, but again, it take a shift in the way budge priorities are calculated.

        One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors - Plato 427-347BC

        by left over flower child on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 02:22:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I do support this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Linda Wood, VClib, MiddleClassMom

    but honestly, I've always had an issue with this line of thought.

    We should pay Person B low wages to take care of Person B's kids so that Person B can go earn low wages somewhere else?

    And it gets even sillier when you realize how many Person B's are also going to be Person A's, and so there are a lot of cases where we're really just paying people to shuffle their families around for the day.

    It really just seems like it would make a lot more financial and practical sense to just give parents the option of getting paid to take care of their own kids.

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 08:59:42 AM PDT

    •  Not so- beyond ~ 9 month, one woman (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IT Professional, FG

      can take care of 2 kids. From 2 year and on, one woman could probably take 3 kids. From age 3 and up, if they are toilet trained, one woman could probably take 4.

      So one woman taking care of one kid is inefficient.

      •  How many could a man (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        take care of?

        Sorry, your comment just came at me from an unexpected angle, perhaps. Maybe I misunderstand you.

        But do you not see how this concept of covering the cost of taking care of our children at the lowest possible cost for work performed by the lowest paid workers in America, except possibly for farm workers, might just rub some people the wrong way? Doesn't your comment suggest that this efficiency you describe is necessary in order to make it possible for families to make higher payments to banks we already have to thank for this stressed out messed up economy? Do we really want the taxpayers to subsidize this financial imbalance more than we already have?

        Have you ever taken care of 4 toddlers? How much would you charge for it were you to do it every day? Would you seek union representation? Collective bargaining? Paid holidays? Health care coverage? A pension?

  •  I work in a public library (7+ / 0-)

    Occasionally, a parent will drop their kids off at our door in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. Which is not a great solution. I mean, it's great for kids to come to the library.  But sometimes they're there for hours without anything to eat, or a 9-year-old is there supervising two younger siblings until the parent's lunch break.

    Sometimes we have to call a parent to come pick up the kids. I always feel bad. No parent is doing this because they think it's a great solution - free child care at your library! They're doing it because they're desperate and calling in one more time might lose them the job that barely pays the rent, and this is the only thing they can think of while they're trying come up with a better plan.

    My kids are teens now, but my husband and I have been lucky enough over the years to manage (mostly) working off-set schedules, so one of us could be with them and not have most of my check go to child care costs. Of course, that cuts down on the time we have together as a couple and a family. Some days we only meet at the door as one comes in and the other goes out.

    All of this to say you're absolutely right.

  •  Starting a new business here, and (5+ / 0-)

    I will say that childcare for my 4 y/o is one of the top issues that is dragging down my ability to grow.  I'm trying to make family time a priority, but it seems I need to work more to earn more to pay more for daycare.

    Would love to see more publicly funded programs that support entrepreneurs and job creators like me.

    Stop clapping. Stop screaming. Open your mind. Listen. (Oh, and I support President Obama in 2012.)

    by Benintn on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 10:15:45 AM PDT

  •  Also add eldercare! (7+ / 0-)

    Middle aged adults are feeling the squeeze between taking care of children, taking care of parents, and paying off their massive student loans. Now that the world of work has become a series of 6 months contracts, just the stress alone is enough to keep them unemployed and in the zone for a heart attack. Then they have enormous medical bills to pay for on top of everything else.

    The current situation puts far too much stress on individuals and the nuclear family unit.

    As much as certain Republicans would like, we cannot go back to the era of huge glans where the Women's Inner Chambers took care of everyone that needed to be taken care of.

    There now needs to be a community effort to provide consolidated care, for the elderly as well as young children.

    Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

    by breakingranks on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 10:28:41 AM PDT

  •  I gotta come back when I have more time (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, Odysseus, VClib, cai, lonespark

    But I do run a child care center in WA.  Many (~40%) of our families are on assistance.  Our regular rates run well over $150 per week ($230/week for infants to $190/week for preschoolers).  So far, I have discovered that the way to make a small fortune in the child care business is to start with a much larger fortune.

    Right now I have to have background checks on all of my teachers, assistants and cooks.  The state is charging me $50 a set for new electronic fingerprints.  They have also gone to a web based background check system.  Both are seriously underfunded and are not anywhere close to functional yet.

    There are also state minimums on floor space per child (50 sq ft for infants and 35 sq ft for others) and maximums on children per provider (1:4 for infants to 1:10 for preschoolers).  All of witch makes it a difficult path to steer.

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 10:28:50 AM PDT

    •  OK, it's not a bad idea (7+ / 0-)

      But it is Rocket Science.

      Maybe we make it too complicated by providing a high quality service.  We're not in the business of just warehousing your child for up to 10 hrs per day.  We're trying to provide a loving, caring, nurturing environment.  It starts with viewing this as a Child Care business, not a daycare business.  We provide 2 snacks and a meal, or 2 meals and a snack to every child, depending on when they arrive.  Each class day includes an instructional session, colors, numbers, counting, getting along with others, days of the week, months of the year, potty training, when's your birthday?, how old are you? We even provide our Pre-Kindergartners with an introduction to the local school system's learning system.  We feel that we need to prepare these kids for the order and discipline that a school day entails.

      The state provides regulations that we have to work within.  Background checks, we don't want folks with unsavory backgrounds watching your children.  Space requirements, 50 sq ft for an infant, 35 sq ft for other ages.  That's space to sprawl out and play in, not just room for tables, chairs, cribs, high chairs and rockers.  We're limited by law from having a child in our care for more than 10 hrs per day.  Sign in / Sign out logs get checked as part of ongoing inspections.

      For kids on state assistance, the family pays a nominal co-pay, usually $15 per month, occasionally a family is doing well enough that they might have to pay half the state's payment.  In WA, we receive $800 for infants (6w-1y), $699 for toddlers (1y-3y or potty trained) and $600 for preschoolers (3 yr to kindergarten).  

      We're towards the low end on our private pay rates ~$1200/mo for infants, $900/mo for toddlers and $800/mo for preschool.  You supply diapers, wipes, formula and baby food.  

      Because of our economic makeup, most of our kids qualify for food assistance from the USDA.  Forty kids can go thru $1500 a month in food easily.

      In WA, minimum wage is currently $9.04/hr.  We pay our teachers from $10-14/hr.  Sadly, no benefits other than flexibility.  We do pay tuition for Early Childhood Education classes.

      The economics are tough.  Look at the baby room, 4 infants, at state rates that only generates $14.50 per hour.  I pay the teacher $10, add another $2 for medicare, SS, workman's comp, state and federal unemployment.  So I'm only generating $2.50 per hour to pay for backup help (breaks, lunch, an 8 hr day), power, water, phone, rent, paper products and the like.  Profit?, what profit?

      “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

      by markdd on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:12:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The overhead for running a center these days (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, lonespark

        is just plain terrifying. I've known a few daycare operators who looked totally shell shocked after a few months of business. It is not for the weak of heart...No one who knows anything about providing quality child care opens a center looking to get rich quick. It's not going happen, not if you're going provide quality care in a great environment.

        Maybe we make it too complicated by providing a high quality service.  We're not in the business of just warehousing your child for up to 10 hrs per day.  We're trying to provide a loving, caring, nurturing environment.  It starts with viewing this as a Child Care business, not a daycare business.  We provide 2 snacks and a meal, or 2 meals and a snack to every child, depending on when they arrive.  Each class day includes an instructional session, colors, numbers, counting, getting along with others, days of the week, months of the year, potty training, when's your birthday?, how old are you? We even provide our Pre-Kindergartners with an introduction to the local school system's learning system.  We feel that we need to prepare these kids for the order and discipline that a school day entails.
        This is now required by law in the state of Texas. A center cannot allow children unlimited free play. Every center is required to have some kind of curriculum and set schedule to meet the developmental needs of the children in the center's care. And those curriculum needs don't come cheap. It's expensive meeting the requirements for the curriculum and the staff. Early childhood professionals are in that business for the love children, not for the love money. All of that aside...It does drive up the cost of care.

        Right now, I'm seeing more and more of friends taking care of grandchildren because their parents can't afford a center. And I'm seeing lots of friends of friends keeping children in their homes--quietly. The amount of stipends provided here is so limited, so we have people keeping kids for a 50-100 bucks a week as opposed to 400 or 500 bucks at the centers. And as most of the great "job recovery" our governor touts is actually made up part time or minimum wage jobs, that 400-500 a week is impossible to come up with. It's a sad situation to be sure.

        I find it amazing that we can invest money in war machines, in wasteful earmarks, over extended banks and bogus government committees and the like--But we can't find money to provide care to children so their parents can have peace of mind while they work to provide for their needs.

        I'm on your side...While I'm a strong proponent of Head Start, I am also a proponent of child care providers trying to give a children a safe haven while their parents work.

        One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors - Plato 427-347BC

        by left over flower child on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 03:34:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  In the early '70s this seemed inevitable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Linda Wood, lonespark

    to me, but of course it didn't happen. I remember being convinced that it was just a few years away--universal, locally provided, government-funded, excellent child care for working women/families. It just made so much sense. But I seem to remember too that there was a lot of outcry--opposition based at least in part on some people's apparent fear of WHAT children might be taught. (Because, of course, quality education/socialization would be part of the package, as envisioned in the hopes that I and my fellow feminists had.) Does anyone remember all this--and if so, how this concept went from a seemingly plausible idea to something no one talked about any more?

    •  OCS - I think it was never implemented (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OutCarolineStreet, lonespark

      because we found ourselves with not enough money to even fund K12 education and there was no funding at the local, state or federal level to take on such a significant new cost.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:26:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "we" as in republicans? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, lonespark

        i seem to remember it was exactly like outcarolinestreet said.

        conservative r's threw a collective hissy fit a la glenn beck about gummint day care teaching our kids how to be commies, blah, blah, blah, rinse, lather, repeat -- & the d's assumed their default, fetal position & the issue went the way of other sensible ideas: into the never-bring-this-up-again basket.

        •  bluezen - no the collective "we" (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think K12 has been adequately funded and it is the politicians we have collectively put in office who have short changed education.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 05:05:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  false equivalency. d's have consistently (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FloridaSNMOM

            supported funding for public education, even if you count ted kennedy's bad judgment with nclb -- he was sucker enuf to believe gw's promise that he would actually fund the program, only to say, no, 9/11 changed everything, blah, blah, blah.

            of course gw's bro, neill, made out like a bandit.  his company was only 1 of 2 that got contracts for implementing the tests.

            and please.  stop painting bernie sanders with the same brush you use on cretins like louis gomert & michele bachman.  all congress critters are not equal when it comes to funding public education.

  •  why didn't the diarist mention any of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    excellent child care systems already in place in other countries, like those (gasp!) socialist european ones?

    this diary goes into great, eyes-glazing-over detail about how to implement the diarist's idea, while omitting that the wheel has already been invented where good, affordable, easily-accessible child care is concerned.

    maybe the diarist has another agenda in mind -- ?

    •  I see my paranoid troll is back (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, randomfacts

      I didn't go in to the system in other countries because I don't know how they work.  

      But sure, its all some sekrit agenda.  Agenda 21, or whatever your version of that paranoid nonsense is. I'm just buttering folks up before I spring right wing derp on their unsuspecting minds, and the next thing you know they've become zombies listening to Glenn Beck and buying lots n' lots of gold coins.

      Oh, the huge manatees!

      •  and i'm sure you won't fail to entertain us, (0+ / 0-)

        either.  afterall, that's why you're here.

        you'll have to show your hand (again) eventually.  you can't do your job unless you do. and i'll be waiting.

        btw, you might want to tell kkkarl you need better material.  this has so many holes in it, it looks like dick cheney mistook it for one of his hunting buddies & shot it.

        as usual, you rw-ers have it backwards -- you're the one who came here to post your half-ass diaries.  too bad you don't like it that i challenge you on your "facts" or lack thereof.

      •  Here you go Stig: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Stig

        Nice peaceful huge manatees just for you ;).

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 06:24:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This already passed Congress... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, bluezen, FG, FloridaSNMOM, lonespark

    ... in 1971.

    The United States Congress passed the Comprehensive Child Development Bill in 1971. If this bill had become law it would have provided a multi-billion dollar [1] national day care system designed partially to make it easier for single parents to work and care for children simultaneously, thereby alleviating strain on the welfare system. [2] President Richard Nixon vetoed the bill in 1972.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...
    The Act, commonly known as Mondale-Brademas, was designed to establish a comprehensive system of child care. The welfare situation was an important part of the history of the act, since child-care legislation would alleviate welfare problems by allowing mothers to work and by providing quality care for children. Another historical impact on the bill was the civil rights movement and the 1960's social clamor to provide services to disadvantaged minorities. The bill passed the senate hearings, but was intensely debated in the House of Representatives where it was amended (The Perkins Amendment). The amendment cut the minimum prime sponsor level from 100,000 to 10,000. It was backed by a coalition of liberals, those with a history in the categorical problems of the 1960's and those from rural states. At this point the bill lost the support of many who were in favor of comprehensive child care. President Richard Nixon vetoed the bill. Some of the reasons why the bill died included politics, power, funding, and morality issues.
    http://www.eric.ed.gov/...

    "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

    by randomfacts on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 02:23:03 PM PDT

    •  thanx for this. i know wikipedia isn't (0+ / 0-)

      always reliable, but do you know what "miminum prime sponsor level" is, & what  "categorical problems of the 1960s" refers to -- does that mean what i think it means: white bigotry?

  •  I think this is misleading: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional, lonespark
    For most working parents, child care is by far the greatest expense.
    There's no question that infants, toddlers, and young grade-schoolers need supervision.  But school starts handling that at age five, reducing the need for child care to half days.  At age six, the need is reduced by another couple hours.  And if you have responsible children of varying ages, a nine-year-old can mind a seven-year-old after school.  By age ten, many children can look after themselves.

    And then there are the people who use family for childcare, or use ad hoc arrangements with neighbors.  

    Or spend more than the state median on housing, healthcare, etc.

    I think a more accurate way to put this would be, "For working parents of young children, child care can be the largest single expense."  

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 03:32:04 PM PDT

    •  I'd also be concerned about finding that many (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluezen, lonespark

      qualified people to work in day care centers.  Childcare is treated as "women's work" (i.e., low pay and little respect), but it is demanding and absolutely vital.  It requires people with tremendous energy, enthusiasm, patience, and empathy.

      Not saying it couldn't be done, but it's a bit trickier than putting two million people to work as, say, grocery baggers.

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 03:37:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  exactly. other countries manage to have (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cai, lonespark, ModerateJosh

        exceptional child care staffed by college-degreed employees & the results are phenomenal.

        children progress faster in school once they start, & have fewer social/emotional problems, which means fewer money is needed to treat the consequences of those problems, not only for the individual & families, but society as a whole, too.

        why is it the us is the only fucking country in the industrialized world that "can't afford" quality child care for its citizens.

        it would be interesting to hear the diarist's answer to this.  beuhler?  beuhler?

        •  Same reason we can't have universal health (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lonespark, ModerateJosh

          care.

          © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

          by cai on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 05:04:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Two reasons (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lonespark

          1. We don't tax big money.  Zero tax on wealth (as opposed to income).  Low taxes on corporations - the share of tax revenues paid by corporations has fallen by half in the last 50 years.  We tax capital gains too low, it should be taxed at the same rates as ordinary income (we actually did this briefly, from '88-'90, so its not unprecedented).

          2. We have a huge welfare program that we call Defense. Its really welfare for defense contractors engineers, IT folks, etc. And we expanded it to a huge degree under Bush 43.  We have 800 overseas military facilities - more than 50 in German alone! We have 11 aircraft carrier battle groups. We have 30,000 troops stationed just in South Korea.

          We could knock the DoD budget down 2%-3% a year until we got it to about 70% of what it is today.  That, incidentally, in real terms would put it about where it was in the mid-90s. If we wanted to really be aggressive, say combine the Air Force and the Army, shift toward smaller rapid-response forces, give up most heavy artillery like tanks that'll never be used, etc. we could cut  the defense budget in half.

           

          •  cue the mic welfare tiny violins & the foreign (0+ / 0-)

            aid cheerleaders over at redstate & breitbart, ad infinitum.  

            and your point is, this has a snowball's chance in hell of ever happening?

            you're preaching to the wrong audience here.  most of us have been advocating this all our lives.

      •  I would think... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lonespark

        I would think there are many parents sitting at home taking care of a kid, because they can't afford child care, who would be glad to take these jobs.  Instead of sitting at home with their kid making nothing (perhaps the other parent works), or on welfare, they're going to a job where they can take their child with them. Their child get to play with other kids, they get a paycheck.

        Everybody wins.

        Bonus:  I think you'd detect a lot of abuse that flies under the radar now, if you had kids showing up at daycare rather than at home alone with a perhaps frustrated, isolated, angry parent. Spot bruises, behavioral signs, etc.  

        •  Unless one of those abusive parents becomes a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bluezen

          daycare provider.

          And abuse can be verbal, which leaves no bruises.

          © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

          by cai on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 05:27:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If one of the abusive parents becomes a provider (0+ / 0-)

            all the easier to spot them.  In my limited personal experience, abusers are people who hate having kids around, and are hateful people in general.

            As for verbal abuse: I'm trying to not laugh.  Yes, its a terrible thing, and yes, it leaves scars.  I can remember cruel things said to me as a child at least as vividly as getting smacked around.

            But all in all, if you've ever been six years old and beaten unconscious, well, sticks and stones and all that.

          •  and lasts a lot longer, too. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cai
        •  you obviously have either never been a parent (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Linda Wood

          or like to blow smoke out of your ass.

          " . . . there are many parents . . . who would be glad to take these jobs."

          umm, no, not even close.  

          there might be "some" parents who fit your description, but you're way off the mark with "many."  and, just being a parent does not qualify anyone to care for children -- theirs or anyone else's.  that's a recipe for disaster.

          unless your "plan" recruits competent candidates & compensates them on the same par as those other countries you neglected to research (ahem), it just repeats & expands an already obscenely dysfunctional system.

    •  You don't have kids, do you. (0+ / 0-)

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 04:00:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually that's not the case. (0+ / 0-)

      For one thing, there's a lot of territory between birth and age 5. Infants and younger non-toilet-trained children don't cost less in childcare than older children, either -- they cost more because they require more intensive one-on-one care.

      You dismiss five years' worth of child care expenses, a huge cost, by saying they "need supervision. But school starts handling that at age five..." This also overlooks the fact that school hours, as other commenters have already pointed out numerous times, are totally out of sync with adult working hours.

      Another major point missed here is that if you leave a nine-year-old child home to supervise a seven-year-old, you can lose your children with one phone call. It's against the law in most states. I'd have to do a little research to find out whether it's against the law in all 50 states. The law aside, I would never leave a nine-year-old home alone to supervise younger children on a daily basis. Nine-year-olds don't have the maturity, judgment, etc., to do child care. That's a nice thought for those who devalue the advanced skills necessary for proper child care.

      As many people as possible do work something out with family or neighbors. But in today's America that's less and less workable. My neighbors work. No family members even live in the same state. I'm not unusual in this situation.

      I went back to school a couple of years ago to enable me to have a fighting chance to find a job after being home with the first couple of kids for several years; my child care expenses have consistently been greater than my tuition and fees put together. It's also a bigger number than our monthly rent (we can't afford to buy).

      When people say child care is the greatest expense, believe them. They are telling the truth.

      "Lady, that baby couldn't possibly be mine. I raped you." Magic ladyparts strike again.

      by LaraJones on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 11:47:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I like how you count both putting people to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Linda Wood, lonespark

    work in childcare and letting parents join the workforce as a decrease in unemployment. With math like this nothing is impossible. And btw is it $12/hr per child or $12/hr per employee? It's not the same thing.

    •  Cost vs pay (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG

      I was estimating costs (labor, facility, supplies, utilities, etc) at $12 per hour per child.  I was estimating pay at $12 per hour per employee.

      And yes, if you have someone on welfare, and you give them free daycare, you have put two people to work: one at the daycare center, the other the parent who can afford to go out and work.

      Two people.  Two jobs.  That math is difficult?  

      •  You can't put two people to work this way. (0+ / 0-)

        Parent joins the workforce but it doesn't guarantee a job. In fact, initially this person will simply be increasing both the unemployment rate and the labor force participation rate. A job for a daycare worker is indeed created.

        Thanks for an explanation about the wages. The same numbers confused me. Although $12/hour per child is fairly high. In major metro areas it's probably close to that but elsewhere it's less.

        I think that free or highly subsidized childcare is a good idea.

  •  Um...yeah... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lonespark, The Stig

    This would help my house-hold a ton. We have 4 children, 9, 9, 7 and 4. My wife is a home health aide, has a job w/ a company, but has to turn down work or request they give her shifts to "make it worth it" for the daycare.

    During the summer, its a NO GO, for 4 kids in daycare (while I am at work) doesn't do it.

    Now the 3 older ones are in school, its still too much for just the one child to go, unless my wife gets guaranteed 40 hrs. In the home health aide biz, that is never a guarantee if any of you are in that industry.

    Childcare would help my home and family a TON. Ironically, any "help" out there is just out of reach for our income is 'slightly' too high to get any 'discounts' ...sigh....so goes it.

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