Child Care Myths

By Vanessa Rasmussen, © 2004, All rights reserved.

MYTH: There is no child care problem

This cannot be further from the truth. In fact, Child care in America is the single most worry parents have. Many have had bad experiences with childcare programs.

MYTH: All parents are satisfied with their children's care.

Most parents constantly think about better childcare facilities. Too few are usually satisfied. Parents have always raised deep concerns about the quality of childcare and more often than not hoped for better alternatives.

MYTH: The quality of child care doesn't have much impact on a child's development.

Parents who feel this way are sadly mistaken. A child grows immensely in his/her younger years. Childcare programs play an unparallel role in the development of a child.

MYTH: High quality care is available in every neighborhood and is not difficult to find.

Unfortunately, quite a few neighborhoods in America do not have quality childcare programs, more so in the case of children with special needs. Considerable research is required to find quality care.

MYTH: High quality care is affordable for all families and the cost of care has not been increasing over time.

Truth is most low and middle income families cannot afford quality child care. The costs have been rising consistently in the past few years.

MYTH: Lack of child care is not a barrier to work.

Most parents worry about their child's care at work. This stems from the fact that parents are generally not satisfied with the quality of child care.

MYTH: Parents can always find enough child care.

Finding a high quality childcare is rare. Most neighborhoods do not have a single quality childcare program, let alone enough of them.

MYTH: Providing child care assistance to low-income families has "interfered" with the market, leading to shortages of infant care.

It is in fact the other way around. Helping low income families has improved the quality as well as the number of childcare facilities available.

MYTH: Unregulated care is not harmful.

In a recent survey, about 90% of parents said they supported regulation of the child care industry. It is common sense that basic health and safety protections - such as criminal background checks for providers, and periodic monitoring for safety hazards can protect children from harm.

Copyright 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article in whole or in part without written or verbal permission is strictly prohibited. For information about reprinting this article, contact the copyright owner: Vanessa Rasmussen, Ph.D, Starting a Day Care Center,