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This next month will be busy for me. I have several interviews and assignments to finish up, work for a graduate assistantship to complete and the introduction to a book section to write for a project I was involved in which involved interviewing immigrants in the city. And I also have to find some work – so I can pay for daycare next semester.

Because to do all this, I have my youngest, Little F, in daycare. 

I worried when she began in September. How I worried. Considered giving up my MA. But she was offered a spot in the university childcare program and after spending two mornings a week there all summer to familiarize my girl with it, I was so impressed with the quality of care and instruction. Little F loves it. After just two months, she is a much more confident child than she was before.

But I’m not sure how long this will last. I don’t know where we will find money in the budget to pay for daycare. I have funding from the university that covers tuition with a little left over that doesn’t cover the cost of daycare. I hope we can scrape by. But I wish we didn’t have this struggle.

I’d like  a society which values families and children and believes that everyone benefits (including those without children or whose children are grown up or who have decided to stay at home) when children in daycare receive excellent care, when one caregiver at home is not expected to do the impossible: be everything to their children at all times. I wish for  a country in which daycares are funded well enough to offer quality instruction, care, and nutrition, allowing caregivers to work or go to school or just get a break for at least a few hours a week.

That won’t happen by next semester. I will have to find some way to pay for daycare. Or quit, decreasing my chances of qualifying for the kind of job which will provide a good future for my girls.

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