San Antonio – Childcare costs are a huge financial burden for families across the board. Donyai Moffatt and LaQuantra Moffatt consider themselves a middle class, both graduated and employed in marketing and teaching. They put out every dollar to be able to afford to care for their three toddlers.
« For me it’s a mortgage, » said Donyai. « If I’ve done the math over a year and it’s almost a person’s income, it’s at least three-quarters of a person’s income. »
They recently moved out of another daycare center because they felt like they were doing a lot to pay a very bad care. When they looked around, some daycare centers cost over $ 2,500 a month, even one over $ 3,200.
They recently had to decide if it was both worth working for. They were lucky to find the Books and Bibs Child Care & Learning Academy on the East Side.
Stephanie Gray owns the daycare. She started after a bad experience in a daycare center with one of her grandchildren. She prides itself on running a good center where children are safe and families can afford it.
« One of my main concerns is quality care at an affordable price, » said Gray. « If you work in childcare, you know that this is one of the worst paying jobs in the industry. »
Because of the labor shortage, it has been difficult to help more families, she said. She has more space but not enough skilled people to apply for the position.
« If you could go to McDonald’s and make $ 15 an hour, why would you want to work in childcare and make $ 11 an hour? ? » She said.
Many of their families receive government subsidized childcare because they are on the lower income bracket and meet the criteria. But she also helps out with diapers and formulas to help out families she knows are struggling with. As for her staff, she tries to take care of them too.
« I try to give them other things like bonuses and take them to dinner here and there and other little things like this just to show them that I really appreciate them, ”she explains.
The Biden government plans to invest around $ 225 billion to make childcare more affordable for low- and middle-income Americans. Eligible families pay no more than 7% of their income to care for children under the age of 5. Details of the distribution of the money were not disclosed.
The Moffatts say they would be happy to accept any help that could bring them financial relief, to invest in other things or to save for college.“This is not a permanent solution, but it is helpful. So whatever we can do now, it will help. I’m not sure what it would take to make it a permanent fix, but that would definitely help, « said Gray.
Patty Santos has been part of the KSAT 12 news team since July 2017.
She has a proven track record of reporting high impact news that affects the community.
Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and comes from El Paso. During his school days he did an internship at KVIA, the local ABC subsidiary. He then moved to San Antonio and began working in the news industry after graduating from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word. He’s also a die-hard Dodgers fan and avid sneakerhead.
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