Thursday, March 01, 2007

thinking inside the classroom?

what next -- families with health care?

"If you want kids to read, and you want to teach them how to read, they have to have time reading." Frankly, this sounds like a great idea as far as i'm concerned. I wonder how positively this will affect the number of students who go to college, not only because they have the time with the teachers and are more likely to achieve college-bound scores, but because they had a good time. Anyway, bully for Massachusetts. This initiative takes the essence of the No Child Left Behind Act and manifests meaningful results.

RANDOM ASIDE: this little tidbit sparked a whole slew of thoughts, notably ones that have to do with the ethics of the family from a utilitarian viewpoint. Lo and behold, i was on the path to the thesis once again. This is what i have so far, and i keep adding in little bits as i find them. it doesn't seem like much from here. I'm doing it anyway.

Finding a meaningful way to address what to do with children, both school age and younger, is an issue "of significant public interest."1 The average American school-aged child spends more time in daycare than ever.[note: what are the average number of hours spent in daycare by school aged children? what percentage of children are in daycare? how many children bear the after school responsibility for younger children, are left home alone, or are otherwise unsupervised?] An initiative to make those hours safe, creative, educational and positive is a huge one, for the child and for the family itself. In the United States, nearly seventy percent of women with children are employed.2 [note: what percentage of children are in daycare?] Child care is a "major expense" for American families.3 The average American family currently spends an exorbitant amount on daycare, often the equivalent of rent. 4 Having a longer school day will most immediately have a positive impact on the poorest of families with school-aged children.
From Among the 22 percent of working poor families headed by single mothers who paid for child care, 40 percent spent at least half of their cash income on child care, and another 25 percent spent 40 to 50 percent.

Among the 9 percent of working poor families headed by married couples who paid for child care, 23 percent spent more than half their cash income on child care, and another 21 percent spent between 40 and 50 percent. 5

1Table 9-12 — Use of Paid Child Care Arrangements for Children Under Age 5 Among Families with Working Mothers, Median Weekly Child Care Expenditures, and Percent of Family Income Spent on Care, by Poverty Status and Family Income, Spring 1999"

2 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor StatisticsWomen in the Labor Force: A Databook (2006 Edition), Spetempber 2006, Table 6.

3Linda Giannarelli & James Barsimantov Child Care Expenses of America's Families report, Urban Institute.

4The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies Breaking the Piggy Bank: Parents and the High Price of Child Care, 2006.

5Richard Wertheimer. "Poor Families in 2001: Parents Working Less and Children Continue to Lag Behind," (May 2003), a Research Brief.

Other Resources
Cost of Child Care in the United States

Lino, Mark. 2006. Expenditures on Children by Families, 2005. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Miscellaneous Publication No. 1528-2005.

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