Paying for childcare is a huge financial burden for the whole family. Donyai Moffatt and La Quantra Moffatt are considered to be the middle class with college education and working as marketing and teachers. They are stretching all the dollars to take care of the three toddlers.
“For me, it’s a mortgage,” said Donyai. “If I calculate and it’s almost one person’s income, then a year or more is at least three-quarters of one person’s income.”
They recently moved from another day care because they felt they were paying a lot of money for very poor quality care. When they shopped, one day they were over $ 2,500 a month, and even one was over $ 3,200.
They recently had to decide if both of them were worth the work. They were lucky when they found the Books and Bibs Child Care & Learning Academy on the East Side.
Stephanie Gray owns day care. She started it after a bad experience in day care with one of her grandchildren. She takes pride in running a good center where children are safe and families can afford it.
“One of my main things is quality care at an affordable price,” Gray said. “If you’re raising a child, you know it’s one of the lowest paid jobs in the industry.”
She explained that it is difficult to help more families due to a shortage of workers. She has more space, but not enough people are eligible to apply for a job.
Indeed.com reports that the average wage for day care teachers in Texas is less than $ 11.
“If you go to McDonald’s and earn $ 15 an hour, why would you want to work in childcare and earn $ 11 an hour?” She said.
Many of her families meet state-sponsored childcare at low-income levels. But she also helps with diapers and infant formula to help families who know she is having a hard time. As for her staff, she is also trying to take care of them.
“I try to give them other things like bonuses, and you know, you know, take them here and there for dinner, and you know, “Such different little things just to show them that I’m really grateful to them,” she explains.
The Biden administration is investing about $ 225 billion to make childcare more affordable for low- and middle-income Americans. Qualified families will pay less than 7% of their income for childcare for children under the age of five. Details on how to distribute the funds have not been announced.
Moffats says he will be happy to receive any help that can provide financial relief to invest in other things or save for college.
Gray says it will be a welcome temporary band-aid.
“This isn’t a permanent solution, but it’s useful. So whatever we can do now, it’s useful. I’m not sure exactly what it takes to make a permanent fix, but this Will definitely help, “says Gray.
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