This morning I came across an article in the free little newspaper attached to my weekly bundle of coupons. It caught my attention because the thought of the local business communities being outraged over public schools wanting to open their own childcare centers struck my last nerve.
My blog has become dedicated to advocating for children on the autism spectrum. In my experience, the biggest source of discrimination against my child has been at private daycare centers. I get 10-15 unique views on this blog per day from Google search engine keywords “kicked out of daycare” and have been saying it for two years now that we need public or not for profit childcare options available to families, especially children with disabilities.
There are so many advantages to having access to programs like this that the excuse of it hurting someone’s business is completely and utterly irrelevant.
If such programs were school-sponsored, they would be able to better accommodate students who need extra unlike their private counterparts could.
Many parents who have a child on the autism spectrum have to leave the workforce to become full-time caregivers. You know why? Because private childcare centers won’t serve them. They end up out of options and unable to afford full-time babysitters because “Mothers of children with ASD work fewer hours per week and earn 56% less than mothers of children with no health limitations” (AutismSpeaks.Org).
If women are making less, how can they afford more? Do you know who would HAVE to serve them? Public childcare centers. It wouldn’t be as easy as another parent threatened to stop doing business with them so your child has to leave. That wouldn’t fly in a public childcare center.
Do you know the impact this could have on families like ours?
Families who, “On average, autism costs an estimated $60,00 a year through childhood, with the bulk of the costs in special services and lost wages related to increased demands on one or both parents” (AutismSpeaks.Org).
Families like ours are spending thousands and thousands on babysitters while our children are trapped in our houses like animals in cages.
Segregated from their peers.
Segregated from pretty much everything.
The ADA has hundreds of cases against private childcare centers that discriminate against children with extra needs.
Unless businesses are going to step up and stop throwing our children out, then they need to drop their greed-sourced outrage and let the world of childcare finally be available, affordable, and fair to all children and families who need it.
Childcare has landed on the second largest bill that families have next to their mortgage or rent. If families are paying for childcare, wouldn’t it be nice to have an option where the money goes back into the schools as opposed to lining the pockets of an owner? That should be our choice, not forced upon us by businesses. There are always going to be those parents that want to send their children to fancy private schools, the same way they do for elementary, middle, high school and college. There is plenty of room for all options and competition in the industry.
In my opinion, not allowing public schools to run childcare centers violates the rights of children with disabilities who need to participate in programs, programs that are currently scarcely available.