Declaring a “child care crisis,” the National Council of Jewish Women issued a report this week lamenting the lack of affordable, quality child care in the United States and urging more in federal funds for child care and school-age programs.
The NCJW report included the results of past studies in an effort designed to heighten awareness of the growing problems parents are facing.
Families spend an average of $4,000 to $6,000 annually on child care, and some as much as $10,000, the report shows. In some states, the average cost of day care can be twice as much as the cost of college tuition, and, in many states, child care providers are barely earning more than the minimum wage.
Although Jewish programs and families are not expressly mentioned in the report, Sammie Moshenberg, NCJW’s Washington director of operations, says the problems affect all groups.
“This impacts our community directly,” Moshenberg said. “The Jewish community is in the same bind as other parents.”
The NCJW is calling on public and private sectors to work together to help employers offer affordable parental leave, flexible scheduling, telecommuting, and support for on- and off-site child care.
Better resource and referral services to help parents select and monitor care are needed as well, the group says.
In its recommendations, the NCJW also suggests improving licensing and standards for child care programs and increasing compensation and training of workers.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.