As a mom of an 8 month old I have begun to understand the complex need for quality and affordable childcare in our city. According to Pew Research in April 2014 71% of all women in the United States worked outside of the home.
However, in Bend Oregon the need for childcare seems be growing rampantly. Nearly every day I see Mom’s posting on Facebook groups the desire to find childcare. I have had lengthy conversations with mothers who have placed their children on waiting lists 70 + children long in hopes of getting a coveted spot at one of the “better” daycares in our area.
According to the NACCRA “Parents and the High Cost of Childcare” report of 2012 Oregon is the 3rd least affordable state for infant care in 2011, costing parents an average of $11,000 a year, an average of $916 a month for full time infant childcare. Oregon is the 4th most expensive state for child care (age 4) in 2011, costing parents an average of $8542 a year, an average of $711 a month.
Furthermore, in Bend only 27 childcare centers (meaning a center not in someone’s home) in all of Bend. Few of them are catering to children under the age of 2.5 years old. So what happens to all the babies in Bend and their hard working mothers? Many moms must rely on family, friends, cutting their work hours back, or at home childcare sites. Prices for infant or baby care range greatly in the centers that do offer care, with the highest I have seen being $875 a month for full time care. Part-time care though inexpensive is even more elusive to get in this area.
Personally, I have contacted multiple organizations and am on a myriad of waiting lists for childcare for only 3 days out of the week.
Balancing parenthood and work is hard enough for moms who decide to stay in the workforce. However, the lack of options, affordability and quality is simply astounding in Bend, Oregon. I believe there is a desperate need for more affordable childcare for children especially those under 2.5 years old.
Statistics and information from: http://www.naccrra.org/sites/default/files/default_site_pages/2012/cost_report_2012_final_081012_0.pdf