Parents Pull Kids from Day Care as Money Tightens

The nation’s economic troubles play out one family at a time at the New Horizons Learning Center in this struggling city two hours northwest of Chicago.

Some parents have been laid off and must pull their children out of the day care center until they can find a job. Others’ employment hours have been cut, so they reduce their kids’ attendance to a few days a week.

Financial strains prompt one mother to pay with a postdated check. Another chooses to work in the middle of the night—after putting her kids to bed—because of the extra dollar per hour that shift brings. And the stress shows on the faces of the children who can’t understand why their friends, without explanation, stop coming.

Parents nationwide are telling day care providers they must scale back or abandon their services. Instead, they keep kids at home with grandparents or upend their work-life balance because gas and food prices have become prohibitive and average child care costs outpace rent and mortgage payments—even for those drawing salaries.

View the complete article.
(USA Today 11.08.08)

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