Affordable Child Care
Affordable Child Care Crisis
It pains me to say this but we are in a world of crisis. One big crisis now, particularly in Colorado, is an affordable housing crisis. Rent can be through the roof and buying a home is just not an option for some people financially. Myself, I was lucky to get a home during the foreclosure boom that has been a good home for me and my wife. However, I have become aware of another crisis that is very real within Montrose, affordable child care. I think this is of particular importance to think about as I recently attended a Rotary meeting where the City presented its priorities through 2040 and it got me thinking, where does affordable child care fit into that plan?
Now I will say this first and foremost, the Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club (BCBGC) is more than a child care organization in that it is a youth development organization. However, it is also a place where kids can go after school and in the summer where they are cared for and it’s affordable to boot. Even with a rate increase this year from $100 a school year to a $180 a school year (and that is for a full school year, not month to month) that is very affordable. With that, we offer discounts if you sign up multiple kids and, we understand that might not even be manageable for some, we do offer scholarships. That’s great right? Well it would be greater if we could serve more kids (insert another shameless capital campaign plug here) but we can’t at this point in time. Now I am not saying by any means that the other child care options in town are not great but they are limited as there are a crazy amount of regulations, labors costs, and overhead that go into providing child care services. And when there is a greater demand than supply, costs go up for those services in demand, that is just simple economics. But this child care deficit puts working parents between a rock and hard place. Do you pay a large sum of money for child care or do you stay at home to take care of your kids? I will also say this as I pose these questions; I honestly have no answer for how to fix it. I know what Club is trying to do to remedy this but building a bigger facility will take time and, if you read last week’s article, with no determined completion time at that. But I think this is something we need to think about as a community as a whole; what are we doing to support our youth and make sure they are taken care of without having parents, particularly low-income parents, having to worry about where their kids will go while they work to support them?
I applaud the City for thinking about the big picture and appreciate them presenting to Rotary and getting their message out into the community for feedback. For more information on the Club’s capital campaign check out www.bcbgc.org/im_in.
Bud Taylor is the Executive Director of the Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club (BCBGC) and has been for the past three years. Prior to that he was a Club kid, Junior Staff Member, and Board Director of the BCBGC. For more information on the Club, please visit www.bcbgc.org.