Legislators Must Address Child CAre
"At the beginning of each school year I am always reminded of something that one of my supervising teachers told me during my student teaching. “Remember that you are teaching and taking care of people’s everything.” This continues to stick with me as I enter my 15th year of teaching some of our youngest students on the most challenging and joyful days. However, I don’t feel that I wholeheartedly understood what she told me until I became a parent myself.
I have been lucky enough to find two amazing, consistent day care providers for both my children. My oldest also had the same teachers his entire year of preschool. I know that I have not had the typical experience with child care in the area and that is upsetting. Parents should be going to work knowing that their “everything” has conscientious professionals who are caring individuals that can connect with children. They should be compensated well and provided training to do their job well. We will never fix this problem as long as caregivers for our children earn $11 an hour.
The child care system in our state is in crisis with prices high for parents and the needs of providers struggling to keep consistent staff. They cannot solve it alone. It will take more, including a sizable and ongoing investment from our state. Together as families, providers, child care workers, and employers, we need to make it clear to our legislators that we need them to step up and pitch in.
*As apprearing in the Bismarck Tribune.