In a letter to the Boston Globe in response to two stories about the high costs of early care and education, Executive Director Anne Douglass, PhD noted that parents at every income level struggle to afford quality early care and education because of its high cost and that innovative funding models are needed.
Excerpt: “The responsibility of paying for K-12 public education falls on us all, regardless of whether we have children. But parents of young children bear nearly all of the expenses related to early care and education. Although these costs are high, data from Massachusetts suggest that they would be even higher if early educators were not, in effect, subsidizing our system by working for poverty wages. … For innovative financing ideas, we can look to the US military, which identified the lack of quality options for child care as a military readiness issue. In the mid-1980s, the Department of Defense noted that many service members were abandoning the armed forces, citing a lack of education options for their young children. In response, Congress passed the Military Child Care Act of 1989, which caps fees for families based on income, with the military making up the difference. Teachers earn more than their civilian counterparts while also receiving annual raises and health care and retirement benefits.”
Read the full letter, “Cost of early child care is unsustainable,” online at the Boston Globe.