Co-published by TIME.
Alissa Quart reports on how parents are navigating the increasingly expensive and unequal world of daycare.
Like thousands of family child care providers across Los Angeles County, Ramona Duran’s day begins at a frantic pace. While most Angelenos are still asleep, Ramona is up before sunrise preparing for the first family to arrive at 5 a.m. at the Long Beach day care center she operates. She checks on the status of a healthy breakfast cooking in the kitchen and makes some last minute arrangements of the play area. Ramona’s Day Care is not a baby-sitting service; it is the center of her community and a labor of love. What she loves most is taking care of the “little ones” and helping families.
“I help the family to go to school, to go to work [and] go to the doctor,” Ramona says. She truly enables families to thrive.
Unfortunately, thousands of women who serve our youngest and most at-risk children struggle to make ends meet — family child care providers earn less than $20,000 per year.