Child Care Shouldn’t Be a Private Family Matter. Hear Us Out.

Hey there! If you care about child care, you probably want to get other people (we’re looking at you, Congress) invested, too. Our “Who Cares” series helps you become a better advocate—and breaks down some of the mistakes a lot of us can make in our advocacy journey. 

Today, let’s talk about the phrase: “It takes a village.”

When people—well, mostly tired parents—talk about raising kids, they emphasize how, without their families pitching in, or one of them staying at home, the whole thing wouldn’t work.

But when one of those dominos falls—say, family moving away—they all do. And because of our country’s weak to nonexistent social safety net, families in the United States are left in the lurch.

For example, caregivers—who are mostly women—are forced to choose between spending a large chunk of their paycheck on child care (if it’s even available in their community and they can get off of a waitlist), or being unable to go to work. But no paycheck means not being able to afford food, rent, and other necessities their child also and obviously needs. 

The bottom line: This is ridiculous. 

In the United States, child care should not be a private family matter. 

It should be a publicly-funded good.

I mean, that’s what basically every other wealthy country in the world does. They spend an average of $14,000 a year on each toddler’s care—whereas in 2021 the U.S. spent $500… when it actually costs families an average of $10,600 per child. 

(And yet somehow, child care workers themselves are still grossly underpaid. But that’s a discussion for another day)!

Does your family have an extra $10,100 to spare?

When it comes to how we treat families—which is horribly—the United States is the world-wide exception. 

And that’s just ✨ embarrassing. ✨

So no, raising a child doesn’t “take a village.”

It takes government funding! 

If you want to be a better advocate for child care, instead of asking what contingencies parents should have in place, we should be asking why Congress refuses to fund a stronger social safety net for women, families, and kids.