Should childcare be free? | The Tylt

Should childcare be free?

If one or both parents work outside the home, childcare is almost a necessity. But nurseries and daycare programs can cost families hundreds to thousands of dollars each month. Many parents don't have that kind of money to spare and argue childcare should be free for families in the U.S. Others make the argument that taxpayers should not be on the hook for other people's families, and childcare should remain a parent's responsibility. What do you think?

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According to Fatherly.com, parents spend a huge chunk of their income on childcare. Ben Marx refers to research from the Business Broker Network, which highlights the average cost of childcare in each state. In some areas, childcare can cost parents over $2,000 per month. In Washington D.C., the average cost of childcare is $2,982 per month.

Families cannot sustain this kind of monetary pressure, and they shouldn't have to. If the economic system requires one or both parents to continue working after they have children, the public should collectively work to pay for the childcare necessary in order to do so. According to Marx:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers childcare affordable if no more than 10 percent of a family’s income is put towards it, but parents are ultimately spending much more, on average. Families in Washington, DC spend 26 percent of their annual income, Massachusetts spends 25, and Wisconsin spends 23. Even in states where the cost is comparatively low, parents still exceed what HHS deems affordable. For instance, families in Mississippi spend 12 percent, those in Louisiana spends 13 percent, and those in Alabama spends 14 percent.

With these kinds of numbers in mind, it's clear that responsibility for funding childcare needs to shift in order for the system to survive. 

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Others argue the responsibility of caring for children should rest on the shoulders of the people who have children. Although pointed, one writer explains their thinking on Debate.org

Here’s the thing: you CHOSE to have kids. It is YOUR responsibility to take care of your kids. You KNEW it was a financial commitment. You had NINE months to figure it out. So if you want to go do other things throughout the daytime besides raise YOUR kids, There are plenty of privately owned entities you can go to to arrange for someone to watch your kids. The government does not need to intervene and raise taxes for everyone just to fund such a program for YOUR kids. 

The masses already support childcare in the form of public education. In the years before kids enter school, it is up to the parent to figure out how to care for their children.

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Free childcare would help society at large. Working parents are more likely to experience decreases in productivity if they have to juggle work and childcare. Plus, if parents are eventually forced to drop out of the labor market in order to take care of kids, that puts further pressure on the economic system. Instead of investing in their own retirement, education, or their kids' education, parents are forced to spend an unreasonable amount of money on childcare. 

According to Brookings

A recent national poll found that 61 percent of parents who report that their financial situation is not strong say that the costs of childcare pose for them a financial problem, with about third of those parents indicating that the financial burden is “very serious.”
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Again, someone has to pay for childcare. Given that this kind of service is a business, not a right for all, that burden should fall to parents. Childcare workers need to earn a living wage, and this can be achieved by keeping childcare programs in the private sector. 

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Should childcare be free?
A festive crown for the winner
#ChildcareFree4All
#ParentsPay4Care