The Easterner

Childcare costs are not cheap for student parents

Enrolling your child at EWU's Children's Center can cost up to $8,064 a year.

EWU%27s+mascot%2C+Swoop%2C+taking+photos+with+some+young+EWU+fans.+The+EWU+childcare+center+is+located+on+the+Cheney+campus+and+also+offers+multiple+services+in+Spokane.+
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Childcare costs are not cheap for student parents

EWU's mascot, Swoop, taking photos with some young EWU fans. The EWU childcare center is located on the Cheney campus and also offers multiple services in Spokane.

EWU's mascot, Swoop, taking photos with some young EWU fans. The EWU childcare center is located on the Cheney campus and also offers multiple services in Spokane.

EWU website

EWU's mascot, Swoop, taking photos with some young EWU fans. The EWU childcare center is located on the Cheney campus and also offers multiple services in Spokane.

EWU website

EWU website

EWU's mascot, Swoop, taking photos with some young EWU fans. The EWU childcare center is located on the Cheney campus and also offers multiple services in Spokane.

By Anthony Carroll, Contributor

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Childcare is a necessity for some students, however, the price may not be affordable for everyone. Usa.childcare.org reports the annual cost of childcare in Washington state to be $14,201.

It, thus, can be difficult for a student to attend college and enroll their child or children in childcare when the childcare costs more than the tuition.

Tuition cost at EWU is $7,866, and by comparison, if a student were to enroll their infant in childcare at the EWU Children’s Center, they would pay more to enroll their child in the center, which at its highest pricing is around $8,064, than they would pay for their own college education.

It costs $672 a month for infants to be enrolled at the EWU Children’s Center. The cost starts at about $124 a month for school age children; however, the cost of enrollment increases for each year the child is enrolled.

“We do more than just play with the kids,” said Anna Culwell, the director for the children’s center. “We really do interact with the kids, and we set learning goals for each one of our students.”

Infants enrolled at the EWU Children’s Center will only be in the infant class for a year since the age cutoff for the class is 12 months. Therefore, childcare cost for a child enrolled from birth through 12 months would only be higher than student tuition for about a year.

It is substantially cheaper for school-aged children to be enrolled at the center with an annual cost around $1,488. Financial aid disbursements don’t always cover the cost of childcare either. Some disbursements may only cover what is needed for attendance.

Finances are just one of the things on students’ minds who enroll their children into childcare.

“Childcare puts you on a schedule that trumps all your other schedules,” said Cody Bradley, a former student at EWU whose child was enrolled at the EWU Children’s Center.

Students may need to leave at any given moment if something were to happen. This can include sickness or altercations. If the center tells students to pick up their child they have to, no matter what they are doing. For students, this could be counterproductive if the sole purpose of putting their child in the center is so they have time to go to class.

Some professors do allow students to bring their children to class, but that doesn’t fall under any university policy.

Childcare is becoming a more pressing problem within our country. “$28.9 billion in wages are lost annually by working families who do not have access to affordable child care and paid family and medical leave,” according to usa.childcareaware.org.

Some early 2020 presidential candidates are already commenting on the issue.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren has issued a potential plan for universal childcare until children reach school age. In this plan, families making less than 200 percent above the federal poverty line will receive free childcare, and for all others, childcare costs will be capped at seven percent of the family income. 

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Childcare costs are not cheap for student parents