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The problem with ‘affordable’ child care

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The service is essential to families and communities. It should be free.
Haspel, E.
Publication Date: 
20 Mar 2024


Americans have generally accepted public education as belonging to a category of services "so essential that they should be accessible to all and funded by taxes." Universal child care, however, has never been seen as a viable goal - politically or practically - and child care policy in the United States has largely been shaped by seemingly arbitrary frameworks and benchmarks. This system has been detrimental for children, families, and the child care sector. In this article, Elliot Haspel examines this "legacy that devalues care" and challenges the assumptions underpinning the quest for affordability as a solution to the child care crisis.