Quality Child Care

In the last weeks we have been talking about quality child care in my Introduction to Teaching course. Research tells us that quality child care contributes to the cognitive and emotional development of children. This results in lower levels of delinquency, teenage pregnancy, drug use, and dropout rates resulting in high earnings later in life and greater marital stability. Whew! Why isn't everyone on the bandwagon for quality child care? I guess the answer is money...but not the only answer. Many critics emphasize that children are better off with mom (or dad) staying home rather than looking for quality care. Unfortunately, that ideal is unrealistic for many families. Single parent households do not have the luxury of choice in the matter. Quality child care is an issue for most single parent households and at-risk families. Many state governments (including my own state) have failed to adequately fund child care for families in need. A study published in Education Week in 2004 found that every dollar invested in quality child care would prove an economic return of 13 dollars in the child's future education. I think it is worth the initial investment.