In his cover story for the April 29 issue of The New Republic, “The Hell of American Day Care,” Jonathan Cohn writes that “trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things a parent has to do — and in the U.S., it’s harder still, because American day care is a mess. And about 40 percent of children under 5 spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent.”
Cohn’s article examines how we ended up with a day care system that is barely regulated and sometimes unsafe. It’s a system that is difficult for many working parents to afford, yet offers many of its workers a barely livable income.
“One of the tragedies of the situation,” Cohn tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, “is that parents need these day cares to work, to make a living. You’re talking about single parents a lot of the time. You’re talking about families that aren’t making a lot of money. They desperately need someone to watch the kids or they’re not going to be able to make it, and there are just not a lot of options out there.”