When a women recently got arrested for child endangerment while she was trying to land a job showcases a more disturbing facet of today's economic reality for millions of single mothers, fathers and parents all across the sociological spectrum. Today's realm of reality is a far cry when many baby boomers were just arriving on the scene. Back then the family unit was still pretty much intact. Two parent families was the accepted norm of the day. Not like it is today where the majority of children are being raised by a single parent and too many are in foster care. The family unit today is fractured to say the least.
With so much emphasis today of the economy and jobs we would be mindful to point out that child care is a very dominate factor in the overall economic picture for reducing the unemployment rolls and other welfare programs that continue to drain the pocketbooks of the tax payer. Unfortunately, like the price of gas, which by the way is over $.50 more today than it was just a few years ago when a national outcry really put the light on the enormous profits the oil conglomerates continue to make. Where is the outcry today? The cost of energy whether it is the gas for your car or the electricity we use in our homes continues to drive up the cost of everything we buy and that includes childcare.
Unacceptable to say the least when it comes to taking care of infants and small children when one has to work to make a living. The astronomical cost today in child care has to be a wake up call for every business owner, CEO, legislator, expectant mother and families all across the country. Today, the rising cost of day care has risen so fast so quickly that over two thirds of the nations states have annual costs for child daycare that far exceeds the average cost of tuition at state universities and public colleges. To date Florida has one of the highest annual costs for child day care while at the same time one of the lowest states for per capita incomes.
It is a well know fact that daycare has been an effective resource in enabling mothers and even fathers to rejoin the workforce. The biggest problem today though is the rising cost of daycare with the dwindling pay scales that have only worsened over the past decade for the nations workers. In Florida today the annual cost for one child in daycare is over $8,500. Compare that with the annual tuition cost at a public college which is under $6,200 we come away with the clear fact that parents are forced to make decisions that both are disastrous for the nations economy and for the families of children in daycare.
The plight that parents have to pay so much to place their child in daycare is a national crisis. Figuring the inflationary tends of today coinciding with the fact that the majority of jobs that are available one has to fork over almost half their annual salary just to have their child taken care of so they can work. In essence what this does is two fold: first for the parent would say why would I want to work when the cost for daycare exceeds my limited welfare and food stamps. Secondly: I would better off and so would my child if I stayed on public assistance. That is the rational. And frankly, one can't blame the parent for thinking that way.
Let's do some math. The majority of employment opportunities that exist today in the United States are pretty much service oriented. The average annual wage is around $28,000. That is the high end. Assuming that this is the salary with the annual cost of placing the child in day care of $8,500 that leaves $19,500 to make up the rest like rent or mortgage, car payment, insurance, food, clothing, utilities, gas for the car, health insurance, and just in case a rainy day fund that is continually raided just because of some emergency that always seem to happen. We can see that today's daycare costs have far exceeded ones ability to cover all those expenses.
With the cost of daycare rising faster that college tuition's puts this nations economy at the forefront of debate. For parents whose child is ready for college there are a vast array of financial means to make a college education possible. The downside is even though they are able to qualify for financial assistance in the form of student loans the jobs that are available upon graduation too many still don't equate to having these graduates able to pay back all that was borrowed for that education. The bright side is that parents have time to save for their child's education.
When it comes to child daycare on the other hand there is no form of financial assistance either in the form of scholarships for low income parents or financial loans like student loans for parents who seek help in defraying the costs of daycare. If we institute financial means in the form of financial aid like student loans without safeguards intact think student loan debt is high now just wait. There is a way to help parents gain employment whose wages are sufficient enough to cover the costs of daycare and earn a substantial living in the process. Achieving this would remedy many of the nations financial and economic problems that we have today. And it starts with implementing National Economic Reforms Ten Articles of Confederation.