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This viral day care price list highlights the childcare crisis many parents face

Some families have to pay as much for childcare as they do for rent or their own mortgage.

This viral day care price list highlights the childcare crisis many parents face

Childcare is a vital part of our economy but when it comes to the hard numbers, something doesn't add up. Parents are paying astronomical rates for childcare at a time when those providing it are making less than Amazon delivery drivers. Parents are going broke to go to work and educators are going broke despite working to keep the rest of us working. It just doesn't make sense.

Recently, one Brooklyn father went viral when he tweeted the price list for a new day care center. Full-day care for one kid at this center costs $2,850 but the average day care worker in New York only makes between $29,000 and $42,000 (which is a lot higher than the national average—according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the national median hourly wage for childcare workers was $11.17 in May 2018, that's about $23,000 a year).

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The dad behind the viral tweet, Mark Popham, expressed an unfortunately relatable dilemma for most parents.

"[W]e're going to be paying as much as our rent, every month, on childcare until Izzy goes to public pre-k. love it! great system, amazing country. no problems i can foresee with this economic system at all," he tweeted.

In the comments a fellow parent expressed another common feeling parents get when they're paying for childcare each month. "My daycare tuition would be 1000x more bearable if I knew the wonderful staff and teachers were getting a fair portion of it."

Fairer wages + better care

Parents want to know that some of that high tuition is being passed onto the people taking care of their children, but in a system that sees early years childcare as a commercial enterprise rather than education, it isn't.

According to Dun & Bradstreet's First Research, there are about 54,000 commercial childcare facilities in America making a combined annual revenue of $27 billion. That's more than twice the number of nonprofit centers—there are about 21,000 of those with a combined annual revenue of about $14 billion.

Parents are pouring billions of dollars into this industry, but frustrated workers frequently leave it because keeping wages low is one of the only ways to maximize profit margins. For-profit day care providers who want to provide great care face a huge challenge here. Research suggests that turnover is often higher (and wages are lower) at for-profit centers compared to non-profit centers, and this can impact the quality of care.

Compared to state-funded education for older kids, early childhood education has a significantly higher turnover rate. A recent analysis of turnover rates in Nebraska found the turnover rate for early childhood educators is 26% in licensed child care settings, compared to 15% in state-funded PreK settings, and 16% in kindergarten through third grade settings.

This is not unique to Nebraska or even the United States. In Australia, for example, degree-holding early childcare workers earn about $10,000 (USD) less than a pre-K teacher, and in Canada the income disparity between workers in commercial child care centers, public pre-Ks and non-profit day cares often makes headlines.

When the business of childcare goes bankrupt

Non-profit day care centers often rank higher than commercial child care centers when it comes to quality scores but that is not always the case. Some for-profit day cares do excel when it comes to quality, and they absolutely fill a void as there are far more children in need of care than there are public or non-profit spots. But relying on businesses to provide an essential service can be problematic, as history has seen. Eleven years ago Australia's largest day care provider, ABC Learning, collapsed. This was a huge deal as it represented a quarter of the country's day care sector.

Childcare centers closed, workers lost their jobs and parents panicked. In the end, Australia's government had to bailout the corporation to keep day cares open and parents working. Today, the remaining former ABC Learning Centers in Australia are owned by Goodstart Early Learning, a "not-for-profit social enterprise."

Childcare as a commodity

When childcare is a commodity, parents, children and childcare workers pay the price. As noted by Jane Beach and Carolyn Ferns during Canada's Childcare 2020 conference in 2014, "Without sufficient public funding going into a child care system, increasing staff wages comes at the expense of raising parent fees—something both for-profit operators and many non-profit parent boards may find unpalatable. Even non-profit operators who understand the importance of raising staff wages to program quality often struggle to meet this goal while maintaining financial viability."

Beach and Ferns presented that in 2014, advocating for universal, affordable and accessible in Canada by 2020. Unfortunately, Canada will not have that by 2020. Day care bills remain "astronomical" in the nation, and while the for-profit model has grown rapidly the wages of childcare workers have not.

But with some of America's presidential candidates campaigning on Universal childcare, perhaps America can show Canada and Australia how it's done. Perhaps 2020 will be the beginning of a new era of childcare in the United States, one that ensures that parents are able to afford childcare and that childcare workers are able to afford to live.


By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

$159.99

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

$14.99

Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

$7.99


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

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