Kids Are Cool addresses the concerns that come with rising costs of child care in America
Even though experts say the recession is officially over, families requiring child care are still feeling the lingering effects. The slow recovery makes paying for child care difficult for parents. Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) report that some parents are removing their children from licensed programs to informal child care settings to better make ends meet. These options may be less expensive, but they are of unknown quality. There is no check for basic health and safety standards and other practices that promote healthy child development in child care settings that are not licensed.
Child Care Aware® of America, the nation’s leading voice for child care, is concerned about whether children will be safe and whether children will be in a setting to promote their healthy development. The high cost of child care forces parents to make difficult decisions. Parents want quality child care for their children. Unfortunately, safety, health and school readiness comes at a cost that many parents cannot afford.
Child care programs are doing what they can to keep costs affordable for families. But it is difficult to maintain a program (cover salaries and other operational costs) while also keeping the weekly rates at a level parents can afford.
Some child care programs are adapting to the economy by expanding the number of hours they are open or offering parents part-time hours. They may control costs by increasing child-to-staff-ratios and group sizes, cutting back on workforce training, closing classrooms and delaying improvements such as ground cover for playgrounds – additional burdens for parents already coping with the stress of making ends meet.
Still, some programs may choose control the budget by controlling salaries. However, despite the tremendous responsibilities child care providers assume, child care remains one of the lowest paying professional fields. The federal minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees has been $7.25 per hour since 2009.
Kids Are Cool, a Four Star rated Texas Rising Star facility here in Lubbock, wants to address these concerns.
“We want to assure you that we will not increase child-to-staff ratios and groups sizes, nor will they cut back on training or let their facilities deteriorate,” says Bill Wheelis, Owner and Director of Kids Are Cool.
“We also pay our employees between $8 and $10 an hour, far above the federal minimum wage, and we offer vacation and holiday pay in an effort to attract and retain the best teachers we can find. We expect quality teachers for our kids here at the center.”
It’s evident that Kids Are Cool is dedicated to keeping standards high, but what about costs? That’s the big question at the center of the discussion – that’s what families really want to know.
According to the 2012 Cost Report for Child Care in America, the 2011 average annual child care center costs in Texas are $8,323 for infant care; $6,414 for one four-year-old; and $14,737 for two children (one infant and one four-year-old). Kids Are Cool’s annual costs compare at $7,540; $6,240; and $13,156, respectively.
Kids Are Cool is a place where children gain self-esteem and self-confidence, guided by dedicated professionals who strive everyday to provide the best care possible.
For more information about the day care, call 687-2665 or visit them online at www.kidsarecool.net.