Why Parents Are Being Forced to Find Childcare Underground

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Photo: Long Story Short Media
Media Outlet: The Atlantic

Alieza Durana wrote in The Atlantic about the difficulties families in New Mexico have finding child care, and the low wages being paid to child care workers:

The front door of Nora Nivia Nevarez’s adobe-like house in suburban Albuquerque, New Mexico, opens to blocks and children’s books scattered around the brightly colored carpet, shaped like a puzzle piece. Throughout the afternoon, she keeps a careful eye on her four small charges, ages 4 months to 10 years, by turns reading books and helping them with puzzles. One little boy named Javier cries as his guardian, Guadalupe, picks him up. He’s tired and ready to go home.
“I love caring for children, I just wish it were a little bit easier,” she sighs, speaking in Spanish. Nevarez, 50, has been taking care of children for decades. She began with her own three children, cared for her two grandchildren, and now helps friends and neighbors as a registered family-childcare provider in Southwest Albuquerque, one of the many in the state. And truly, her work is a labor of love. She doesn’t turn anyone away. Javier is autistic and his guardian hasn’t been able to find anyone else who will care for the child. Nevarez will.

Author:

Alieza Durana is a senior policy analyst in the Better Life Lab at New America, where she provides research, writing, editorial, and programmatic support. Her work focuses on barriers to social and income equity, especially at the intersection of housing, education, and family policy.