‘Better Start Saving Now’ PSA highlights the outrageous cost of childcare in the U.S.
In half the country, it’s now more expensive to educate a 4-year-old in preschool than it is to educate an adult in college. How in the heck did that happen?
Parents used to spend years planning for college tuition. Now, many of them are financially drained by the time their kids get to public school. Many people echo the sentiment, “Don’t have kids you can’t afford.” But that saying is becoming more and more ridiculous as the years go by. How can you financially prepare yourself for such an endeavor?
A new PSA uses adorable children to take the edge off the message: childcare is absurdly expensive.
“The average cost of childcare is already $11,000 per child, per year. So we need to jump in the game a little quick,” the child financial advisor says to his client, who looks to be about four years old. “If you start saving now, I think in a good 20 years you’ll be able to afford your kids’ childcare comfortably. Well, somewhat comfortably.”
“I’m going to be honest. You’re gonna be barely scraping by.”
My child goes to part-time preschool because it’s all we can afford. It costs us $400 a month for him to go four days a week, for three hours a day. If he went full time, it would cost us $900 a month. Our three-year-old goes to daycare for a full day, twice a week. That’s another $450 a month. In order to afford full time daycare and full time preschool, we’d have to hash out $1950 a month. That’s more than our rent.
So for totally part-time preschool for one child and part time care for the other, we’re paying over $10,000 a year. Next year one child will be in kindergarten, so we’ll be able to afford another day of daycare for the other. We’ll be paying $600 a month for one child to be in part time daycare. Why not put her in a few more days since we’re already used to paying the $900 a month? Because we’re sick of having zero dollars left at the end of the month.
The PSA is from an organization called Make It Work. Here’s a statement from their website: “America is ready for common sense workplace policies and ambitious solutions that will help people across the country ‘make it work.’ So we’re changing the conversation about work and family in this country because it’s 2016, folks — and people who work hard deserve more than a decent living. They deserve a decent life.”
You can help. There’s a simple action plan — and it’s this pledge:
“Starting today, I’ll only vote for candidates and support elected officials who publicly endorse solutions that help all of us “make it work:”
- Equal pay for equal work
- A living wage
- Paid time off when I’m sick or need to care for a family member
- Affordable child care and elder care for families who need it
Hardworking people like me deserve more than a decent living — we deserve a decent life.”