You've heard of student loan debt, but what about pre-school student loan debt? According to a new report, child care is incredibly unaffordable — in fact, full-time care in a center for children under the age of 5 costs more than tuition at the average in-state college. That fact says a lot of things about our society's hypocrisy when it comes to parenthood.
The latest study, which involved data from Care.com as well as the Census Bureau and a survey of 15,000 household, found that costs are unaffordable for many parents. For instance, an average in-home caregiver costs 53 percent of the average family's monthly income. And, as Bloomberg notes, "No state scores well across the board for cost, quality and availability."
This study is also not alone in pointing out the high cost of child care. Everyone from the Economic Policy Institute to the Pew Research Center has found that child care costs are both high and rising.
In other words, trying to afford child care for your kids before they're old enough for school is going to be a challenge for the vast majority of parents. This really underscores the way that our society fails when it comes to supporting families — and the way we tend to be very hypocritical about parenthood.
Women are often told that we're supposed to "have it all." Have a career, society tells us, but make sure to have kids; kids are the most important thing ever. But when it comes to then taking care of those kids, society is pretty much the personification of the shrug emoji.
You mean you want to actually afford these children we told you that you should be having? Eh, that sounds like your problem.
Obviously parenthood is a meaningful and important things — if people didn't want to be parents, society would basically collapse. Therefore, society also has an obligation to support parents and make it possible to afford to raise their children in a stable and supportive home. And if we're not willing to do that, we should stop making women feel pressured to have kids.