The Child Care System Is Broken. Community-Led Solutions Can Fix It.
I (Bethany Herron) became familiar with the brokenness of the child care system as an instructional designer for True Charity Initiative. Through my work, I have heard many stories of hardworking parents who have faced the prospect of having their kids placed into foster care due to an inability to find safe and affordable child care options while they are away at work.
In a recent conversation, Jennifer Johnson, a former lawyer turned child care cooperative director, told me, “Many of the women (she) represented were good mothers. They loved and desired to parent their children. However, they just couldn’t figure out how to work and pay for child care.” Jennifer’s story represents similar conversations that I have had with pregnancy care center directors, child care centers and nonprofit leaders.
Recently, I (Scott Centorino) have seen that same brokenness from a new and life-changing angle — parenthood. I used to see child care access and affordability as distant reasons to write op-eds on broken public policies. But as a father, sitting on a waiting list to get my newborn into the only child care center in our rural county that serves infants, the child care crisis has become personal.