I’ll never forget that first check I wrote to pay for child care. It was so much money! Did you know that in Oregon, child care often costs more than college tuition? That’s right. Full-time infant and toddler care, for example, costs an average of $10,392 a year, while college tuition averages $6,790. And we have 18 or so years to sock money away for college! Not so for child care, which many of us start paying for as soon as six weeks after birth. A shocking reality for most new parents.
And we’re not the only ones who think this issue deserves some attention. A few weeks back, The Oregonian’s Associate Editor Susan Nielsen wrote a terrific opinion piece on the subject — Need good child care? Start looking two years ago — that we think you’ll want to read. One point she made really jumped out at us,
“The topic of child care seems to be evolving in the public mind from a ‘personal problem for moms’ into a basic workforce issue and public policy challenge. That’s a welcome shift, to say the least.”
We couldn’t agree more. So many of the public policies that fail today’s parents are presented as our own failings. But when they affect every single one of us – as child care does in one way or another, they’re policy failures, not personal ones.
We were so pleased to see Susan’s Opinion piece we submitted a Letter to the Editor in response. You can read it here – it’s short and sweet.
What’s YOUR experience with child care in Oregon — and beyond? Most parents have one. Too expensive? Far from work? Long wait list? Substandard? Or just perfect? We’d love to know. Click here to share your experience with us — it helps us put a face on the issue when we talk with policy makers.