Monday, May 17, 2010

Child Care

My second reaction essay will be discussing an article on child care. This article is called “Child Care,” by Michelle Friedman, from the Coalition on Human Needs. I chose this topic and article because I work at a home childcare and preschool here in Springfield. While the need for childcare is rising, so is the cost of childcare. I feel that many people do not think of childcare as a social service issue, but it is. There are many programs and funding that the federal government operates in order to provide better child care services and affordable child care service. It is important to advocate for these services in order to help families all over the United States of America.


This article starts out discussing the growing need for child care. There are a few factors that influence this progression. The number of women working (participating in the paid labor force) is increasing as the years progress. Many women are going to work in order to help support the family. As the cost of things is increasing, the pay for people is staying the same. Families now need a second income. As this need for women to work increases, the need for good-quality childcare is also increasing. This article states that, unfortunately, the amount of good-quality childcare is not increasing. Every week, there are about 5 million children left unsupervised after school (Friedman). This leads to more crime and juvenile delinquency. While many families have relatives available to help with childcare, there is still a huge number of people that have to pay for childcare outside of the home. The costs for childcare can range from about $4,000 dollars to $10,000 dollars per year, per child (Friedman).


This article also talks about the quality of care for children. I like how this article mentions the importance of the quality of care effecting the child’s development. It is so important that children have interaction, safety, connections, and are being taught skills and responsibility and are engaged in learning. The child care should be more than just “babysitting.” There are many health and safety issues that children need to have as well. In this article it states that “a healthy and safe early childhood setting can also prevent cognitive and behavioral disorders later in life, some of which are irreversible” (Friedman). I feel that this is very important-helping prevent mental illness. This article mentions some statistics on the amount of child care providers that provide inadequate care. So many states have so many different rules and regulations that it is hard to ensure that each child care provider is truly an adequate provider. Of course, programs like DCFS do check-ups to ensure safety, but there are always some that get through the cracks or have second chances.


There are government programs that help with improving child care affordability and quality. There is a Child Care Development Block Grant that was passed in 1990. It became part of funding for families that receive welfare as part of the 1996 welfare law. It provides funding for early childhood development and before-and after-school child care services. There is a program called Head Start. It was created in 1965, and helps prepare low-income children to enter school. In 1996, this program served over 800,000 children (Friedman). In Springfield, I know there is a place called Community Child Care Connection. They link parents and providers to resources in the community. This is part of the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and is funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services. They have a child care assistance program. It is run through IDHS. It provides assistance to low-income working families and families on TANF. At my childcare home that I work at, there is only one family in this program. I feel relieved for these people that they have this program available to them.


The quality of childcare is decreasing in some areas in the United States, as the cost may be rising in some areas of the U.S. I think it is important for social workers to strive for better programs for child care assistance and to keep up with the policies that are in existence now for child care.


References

Friedman, M. (n.d.). Child Care. Almanac of Policy Issues. Retrieved April 13, 2010, from http://www.policyalmanac.org/social_welfare/childcare.shtml

2 comments:

daisee albert said...
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daisee albert said...
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