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Archive for the ‘Cost and affordability’ Category

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

Inequality between children from low-income families and those from high-income families starts early – and creates a daunting achievement gap.

“…children’s earliest learning experiences and outcomes” vary considerably “based on their parents’ incomes and education,” Sara Mead writes in “Education Inequality Starts Early,” a U.S. News and World Report article.

Mead focuses on children’s earliest years, a topic she says is missing from recent debates about inequality.

The seeds of educational inequality are sadly familiar. Middle class children are more likely to be read to, and according to the well-known Hart-Risley study, they hear 30 million more words than their lower-income peers.

“As a result, by the time they enter kindergarten, children from the lowest socioeconomic backgrounds are already far behind their peers in the highest quartile of socioeconomic status on measures of early reading and math skills,” Mead writes.

The good news: (more…)

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Screenshot: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Report

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is making the business case for high-quality early education.

“… America is facing an unprecedented workforce crisis: a large and growing shortage of skilled workers,” the foundation says in a newly released report – “Workforce of Today, Workforce of Tomorrow: The Business Case for High-Quality Childcare.”

“From Wall Street to Main Street, the world of work is changing—and our strategies for developing tomorrow’s workforce must change with it,” the report says.

Katharine B. Stevens, a senior fellow with the American Enterprise Institute who wrote the report, says in a statement, “Achievement gaps are emerging much earlier than we previously understood. The costs of children arriving in kindergarten not ready to learn are enormously high.” (more…)

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“We don’t have to talk anymore about the value of early childhood education: everyone agrees it’s critical. We do, however, have to talk about affordability, logistics and policy. With preschool tuition running $10,000-$30,000 per year, the cost of sending one child to preschool can be more than a family’s rent or mortgage. Early childhood education is not just a child development issue, it’s an economic one…”

“To address this issue, the city convened an Early Childhood Task Force in 2014. Its 2015 report articulates the admirable vision that “all children in Cambridge [will] receive high quality early education and care from birth through third grade,” and recommends initial steps toward that goal…”

“To start this process, the council and committee will have a joint roundtable discussion this fall. One of the main tasks of the roundtable should be to set a deadline by which a comprehensive system of early childhood education will be in place. A deadline will force us to answer, sooner rather than later, the questions related to policy, financing, and logistics.

“Some of those questions are: (more…)

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Eva’s parents are “in quite a bind: having to choose between leaving baby Eva in the care of others at this young age or losing job security during this crucial family transition. They also worry about even finding child care that they can afford. Eva’s parents are not alone. Many parents in our nation are feeling these pressures.”

“Getting it Right for our Babies,” The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, the University of California, Berkeley, June 6, 2017

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What do many parents need to get a job?

Child care.

But too often this need is ignored. And a study done in Louisiana has found that unmet child care needs generate a $1 billion loss for the state’s economy.

The study is the first of its kind to be conducted in Louisiana, and its results point to issues we talk about here in Massachusetts every day, including: child care costs, access, and workforce needs.

“To date, we have been unable to locate Louisiana-based studies of how child care instability affects the state’s workforce productivity,” according to the study report, “Losing Ground: How Child Care Impacts Louisiana’s Workforce Productivity and the State Economy.”

“This study attempts to address this gap.” (more…)

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“A Seattle organization is trying to help moms get their work done and get time with their kids. Women’s Business Incubator is a co-working space that has drop-in childcare with a preschool teacher.”

“The coworking space features a room where the little ones and moms can work and play side-by-side. There are additional rooms away from the kids where moms can focus on work while the kids spend time in a classroom or outside with a teacher.

“The program is significantly cheaper than traditional childcare and the group encourages members to network. They offer resources for moms who are trying to reenter the workforce after having children.

“The Incubator has only been open for a few months and they would like to expand. The goal is to put locations in other parts of Seattle and add hours giving more women the flexibility they desperately need to nurture their children and the dreams.”

“Seattle preschool allows moms and kids to work side-by-side,” KING5 News, May 11, 2017

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Ivanka Trump could be a champion for child care – and for lower child care costs.

That’s the argument that former Boston Globe columnist Joanna Weiss makes in a recent Globe opinion piece.

Weiss also asks a key question: Who should take care of very young children?

The answer is complicated. Obviously, parents play the most vital role. But what should happen when both parents work? And how does the country cope with the fact that many of the families who most need child care struggle to afford it?

Weiss says Ivanka Trump could help forge an answer.

“As the president’s daughter chats up bigwigs and members of Congress [to support working women], here’s hoping she’ll bring up the most fundamental challenge for working families: the impossible economics of child care.”

Last year, another Globe opinion piece took on the high cost of child care, noting: (more…)

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