A Working Woman’s Crisis

A Working Woman’s Crisis

Three essential things tie directly to your quality of life: a roof over your head, healthy food on your table, and a job to bring in income. For many Loudoun residents, that trio gets sideswiped by one more essential: childcare. An average full-day of childcare costs approximately $18,000 a year in Loudoun County. That’s $1,500 a month. While the very wealthy can afford to have one parent stay home with the kids, many working-class parents simply cannot afford to go to work. If you’re a single mom, the noose is even tighter as women make about 79 cents for every dollar a man earns. And, single mothers head just over half of all U.S. low-income households with children. Allow me to introduce you to one of your Loudoun neighbors. Michoale is a woman of determination, moving herself up and out of a really difficult situation. Now, proudly in the workforce and earning an annual salary of $30,000, she is also a single mom of two young children. That adds up to as much as $36,000 in full-day childcare. She faces the very real mathematical dilemma of having to quit her job so she can better take care of her family. Something is woefully broken. Loudoun County and Virginia do offer help. The Loudoun County Board of Education has zeroed in on full-day kindergarten covering a bit more than 80% of our children—with a laser beam focus on schools attended by low-income families. That’s a relief to parents with youngsters ages 5 and up. Of course, if your job is 9 to 5, there is still after-school care costs to...