Child Care as A Public Good: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

The outing of America’s broken child care system continued with a vengeance in August. Head Start eliminated services for 57,000 American children, the victims of sequestration. In “The Great Divide,” a New York Times series on inequality, Alissa Quart zeroed in on the issues of scarcity and affordability. She noted how parents across the socio-economic spectrum are seeing chunks of their income disappear for early care and education—an observation amply supported by the USDA’s report, Expenditures on Children by Families, 2012, released earlier this month.

Gabrielle Birkner filled in the picture at Lilith in . . . Read full article →

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24-Hour Kindergarten for Germany

Not long after lamenting the state of America’s children in in the Los Angeles Times, I stumbled upon an assessment of Germany’s human capital prospects by Suzanne Daley and Nicholas Kulish. Like the rest of Europe, where fertility rates have been declining for decades, Germany is alarmed by the threat to its future labor force. And who can blame them? The country is, as Daley and Kulish write, “an island of prosperity”—not a distinction they’d want to lose any time soon.

Apparently, Germany has been subsidizing its families to the tune of $265 billion . . . Read full article →

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The Invisible Poor: Caring for Our Children

As summer disappears, in its inexorable crawl toward September, E. Tammy Kinn takes us inside the life of Shanita Hargrove, a family child care provider, in a powerful, and eloquent, piece in The Nation. Here’s our first glimpse of Shanita, who started raising children when she, herself, was a kid:

Hargrove handles children with the easy skill of a baker handling dough. She leans Shawn against her wide bosom, cooing in a Southern alto. She massages his back and feet and lightly touches his neck, which stimulates good hormones, she says.

Kinn then . . . Read full article →

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