The terrifying reality of American “daycare”

Trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things that a parent has to do—and in the United States, it’s harder still, because American day care is a mess. About 8.2 million kids—about 40 percent of children under five—spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent. Most of them are in centers, although a sizable minority attend home day cares. In other countries, such services are subsidized and well-regulated. In the United States, despite the fact that work and family life has changed profoundly in recent decades, we lack anything resembling an actual child care system. Excellent day cares are available, of course, if you have the money to pay for them and the luck to secure a spot. But the overall quality is wildly uneven and barely monitored, and at the lower end, it’s Dickensian.

Jonathan Cohn, New Republic (15/4/2013)

Equal parts fascinating and horrifying, this lengthy and in-depth article on the shocking inadequacies of the American system of early childhood care and education is recommended reading for anyone working in the ECEC field. This article serves as the counter-balance to any push for less regulation and lower standards in Australia.

Well worth putting aside half an hour and reading.

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