The Biggest Problem with Child Care In The United States (A Follow Up Discussion)

debateMy blog is a place for ideas. I am a fervent believer in refining ideas in community, and I had a chance to do that this week with my friends and fellow early childhood educators, Kelly Matthews and Ijumaa Jordan.

I want to share a conversation with you that I had with these thoughtful and reflective leaders in the field of early childhood education. Our discussion began following my blog post from last week called, “The Biggest Problem with Child Care in the United States.” In the discussion that follows, Kelly and Ijumaa dialogue with me about what they see as the biggest problems facing child care in the United States.

The dialogue that follows will make more sense if you’ve read the first post. Please take the time to leave me your thoughts in the comments below. What do you see as the biggest problems facing child care in the United States

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Categories: Community Support, Public Policy, Wisdom | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The Biggest Problem with Child Care in the United States

statueI read a sarcastic Craigslist post a few months ago that was circling among my educator cohort titled “Free Child Care.”  (I’ve looked for it since and can’t find it to link…you’ll have to use your imaginations.)  The post attempted, in witty tongue-in-cheek fashion, to illuminate the problem of child care costs by itemizing the actual cost of providing care for a child.  The writer was clever and the post struck a chord with my fellow educators, the sentiment being, Why do clients complain so much about the cost of child care?  Don’t they realize how little we make and how much we do?? 

On the other hand, I have friends in my parenting circles who want more children but choose against it (or choose to delay having other children), because they can’t afford the cost of child care.  Many of my fellow family child care providers had other careers before having children of their own, and then the cost of child care was too expensive for them to work.  They quit their jobs and opened their own child care programs.  They wonder, How can I pay for child care? The costs of placing my children in a child care program take up my entire paycheck.  How am I supposed to survive? Continue reading

Categories: Caregivers, Community Support, Wisdom | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

No Longer At Odds With Toddlers

IIMG_6117t snowed a few weeks ago in Lausanne; a beautiful dusting that covered everything with an inch of wet snow.

As I walked my son to preschool, I noticed something that made me smile.  The sidewalks had been cleared, and yet every stretch of snow remaining on the edges had tracks of footprints.  Made by child-sized feet.  I watched, smiling, as my son did what the toddler before him had done…march boldly in the fresh blankets of snow.

There was a wide swath of cleared pavement to choose from.  He didn’t need to walk in the snow.  Nor did the child Continue reading

Categories: Caregivers, communication, Emotional Development, Toddlers | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Dear Nationwide: Your Commercial Was Terrible. Here’s Why.

IMG_5456Last week was the Super Bowl, and one of the highlights every year are the commercials.  Nationwide Insurance gained notoriety for the commercial they ran which featured a dead child reflecting on everything he missed out on because he died in an accident.  The commercial has received lots of negative attention for very important reasons.

Spokespeople from the insurance company continue to stand behind the commercial, stating that the purpose was to raise awareness about the danger of household accidents. My intention was to post this letter one week ago immediately following the Super Bowl, but it took me days to put my thoughts on paper.  I have poured more hours into this single blog post than probably any post in the history of my blog. I believe that Nationwide did two critical things wrong Continue reading

Categories: Community Support, Risk Taking | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

My 10 Most Influential Books

Two years ago, I published a list of my ten most influential people.  Since then, I have had requests to publish a similar list of my most influential books.  Without further ado…

Books Continue reading

Categories: Book Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

No More “Magic Words”

ThanksgivingAs a culture, we are obsessed with manners. In our product-oriented society where parents and care providers feel judged by the actions of children, we feel that we are doing a good job when our children are polite.

Why do we care so much? Why is it necessary for our children to use manners in the first place? Why do we care if our children say “please” and “thank you?” Continue reading

Categories: Community Support, Emotional Development, Guidance, Respect, Social Development | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Let’s Expect Different

IMG_5299Yesterday, I was taking my son to preschool when a store employee gifted him a small stuffed-dog keychain.  He was beyond thrilled.  He spent the rest of the walk to preschool rolling it over and over in his hand, examining the twist tie holding it to an index card, and noting the tag sewn into the dog’s foot. He talked to me non-stop about his plans for the dog, how his Continue reading

Categories: Emotional Development, Guidance, Respect | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Communicating Takes More Than Language

SimonYesterday, my daughter lost her sweater. It was a gift from her grandmother, and she was despondent as we retraced her steps.  As I was fumbling my way underneath some aluminum bleachers where we had been sitting, a guard approached and told me I wasn’t allowed under there. Even though I didn’t catch a word of what he said, I knew by his body language that he meant for me to leave.

I responded with all the pertinent French I knew: Continue reading

Categories: communication, Language | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

4 Strategies For Raising Children With Healthy Body Images

Blog Title Pic Body ImagesI looked through stacks of old photo albums before we moved and I discovered something.  I used to be skinnier.  Also, I was so cute!  What strikes me as I look through old photo albums is that I never felt cute or felt skinny at the time.  I was always dissatisfied and wished I could change any number of things about the way I looked.

If I could go back and tell the younger me one thing, I would give myself permission to feel joyful in my skin.  I wasted so much time Continue reading

Categories: Emotional Development | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

When No One Speaks Your Language: An Interview With My 6-Year-Old Daughter

First day of school

Our family relocated to Switzerland this summer, and I worried about the impact of our move on our children.  Specifically, we decided to enroll them in the local Swiss public school. My oldest child would start first grade (3P in Switzerland), and my middle child would begin kindergarten (2P).

All of my children are resilient, flexible, persistent, and compassionate.  Still, each of their personalities left me wondering about the ease or difficulty of transitioning to school.

I was most worried about my oldest.  Continue reading

Categories: Expat, Language, Switzerland | Tags: | 4 Comments

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