There was a lengthy article in the New Republic by Jonathan Cohn about the crisis in the Day Care industry in America. The story weaves in the tragedy of one Houston area home day care throughout the long expose on day care in America. The Houston day care center had many children and the lone care taker left oil heating on the stove and went to Target and Starbucks while her house caught on fire and four of the children died. This may be the extreme, but the facts surrounding day care speak for themselves. The workers are some of the lowest paid workers in our society. For many moms they cannot find an affordable place to care for their children.
The author who appeared on Fresh Air yesterday, compares our system to the amazing system in France. He details the plan outlined by the Obama administration to expand the Georgia and Oklahoma early childhood state funded programs. Cohn looks at the military childcare facilities which are far better for inspections and paying staff a decent wage. He looks at the history of day care in America with the massive changes that took place during welfare reform as well as the economics of providing quality care to young people.
NEOCH staff going back fifteen years have complained about the childcare issues associated with welfare reform in Cleveland. Our society has told women to go out at any cost and find a low income job. Cuyahoga County gives very few exceptions to the lifetime time limits, and then those women have to struggle to find childcare. Our public policy is to force low income women to pay other low income women to take care of their children. We could just cut out the middle man and pay the women to take care of their own children as they do in France with tax breaks and the children would be way better off. I have never understood the logic of welfare reform and how so many championed this as a success. It still does not make sense 15 years later. It is dumb public policy and the Cohn article is exhibit A to demonstrate this failed policy.