This is how normal school schedules make things hard for working parents
So here’s the thing: in an ideal world, couples who choose to raise children would benefit from a school schedule that actually makes sense for their lives. They’d drop off their beautiful babies, head to work, and swing by to get them in a way that totally aligns with their work days. But, unfortunately, that isn’t the case. According to the Center For American Progress, many working parents are actually sort of screwed over because of the way school schedules are set up.
The article explains,
"By closing at 3:00 p.m., shutting down intermittently and frequently, hosting important school events in the middle of the day, and more, schools make it really hard for parents to balance their commitments to their children and their jobs."
You may be thinking, well, why not childcare?
But the thing is, the article reminds us, that childcare in the U.S. is super, super expensive. And we’re not talking, like, cut date night and it’s doable. We’re talking *thousands* of dollars. It’s not surprising that having kids is seriously stressing people out these days, especially us ~millennials~. The article says,
"If families pay out of pocket for child care to cover the excess school closure days and hours, it would cost an average of $6,600 per year, or 9 percent of an average family’s income."
That is *so much money* you guys.
And this doesn’t impact everyone the same way. Families of color and less wealthy families are way more likely to have these struggles, which seriously isn’t fair. According to the article,
"The misalignment of school and work schedules has a disparate impact on black, Latino, and low-income working parents. "
But why is this the case? First of all, you know how we talk a lot about the gender wage gap? Well, there’s also a wage gap as a result of race, with black people getting only 81 cents on every $1 whites make, while Hispanic women or Latinas earn 75% as much as whites. So not only is it already ridiculously expensive to get childcare sorted out, but you’re working with less funds to begin with.
Combined with the fact that these parents and families are less likely to have salaried jobs (and more flexible schedules as a result), normal schedules seriously mess with the ability of families of color to take care of their kids.
Luckily, the Center For American Progress has a few ideas for how we can improve this situation and make taking care of kids and working easier for everyone. TG for that!