(COMMON DREAMS) Lindsay Koshgarian, October 22, 2015 — A brief personal story: all at once, I changed jobs and our part-time babysitter moved on after three terrific years: the scramble was on for loving, enriching child care at a price that didn’t break our family’s budget.
Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe it was 30 years ago, or maybe just last year.
Maybe you’re not a parent at all. You don’t have to be – turns out preschool is good for everybody. Here are five reasons we need universal preschool right now:
1. Preschool is good for kids.
Whether or not we need childcare to allow us to work, many of us parents choose to send our kids to preschool. Why? Because we have a gut sense that it’s good for them to socialize with other kids and start exploring the world in a more school-like environment before kindergarten. And we’re right.
2. Preschool isn’t always a “choice.”
We all like to have choices. But lack of affordable child care means fewer options for families.
Most American families need two incomes to get by, but have you ever asked yourself whether you can afford to work? Childcare is so expensive that many of us “choose” to stay home because after we pay for childcare, there’s next to nothing left. For others, losing a second income would mean being unable to afford basics like rent or mortgage, and child care is a requirement no matter how expensive it is. Meanwhile, many dads say they’d like to take more time for family – something that’s much more difficult if you’re the sole breadwinner. And of course, for single moms or dads, there is literally no choice: childcare is an absolute necessity.