Sarah Carr’s excellent article (“Child Care in Crisis,” October 31) described the injustices facing private early-childhood educators as compared with public school educators. Among the most significant is the disparity in compensation. In collaboration with the Massachusetts Association for the Education of Young Children and colleagues at Smith College, we conducted a survey revealing that across Massachusetts, early educators work a longer calendar year, receive fewer benefits, and earn less than half of their counterparts in public schools, even with a master’s degree. When we fail to recognize early childhood as a public good, and require programs to rely on tuition and subsidies to operate and compensate educators, those educators ultimately subsidize the programs with their low wages, lack of benefits, and working conditions. The collaboration, innovation, persistence, dedication, knowledge, communication, advocacy, and more of this extraordinary group of almost exclusively women in the face of blatant injustices deserve meaningful recognition and compensation comparable to public school teachers.
Shannon Audley, associate professor, Smith College
Martha Christenson Lees, research affiliate, Smith College
I lived 15 years in Germany, where my first son went through child care, kindergarten, and elementary school. Cost about 200 euros per month, which, coincidently, was what we received monthly in kindergeld — an allowance every parent received per child regardless of income. So, in essence, child care was free in the middle-income bracket. You did pay more with higher incomes. Yup, my taxes there were somewhat higher than they are here now. But I got full health insurance (no deductibles or copays), child care, excellent transportation, and good schools. Here, child care is impossible for my two youngest at around $1,500 each per month. Also, there was paid parental leave. These are programs even conservatives in Germany would not change.
outside-lookin-in, posted on bostonglobe.com
The $64 question is how you [provide] affordability for the consumer and equitable pay for the caregiver. Massachusetts does not have universal pre-K. That means that kids as old as 5 may be in a day care setting. These kids are supposed to be learning, meaning that they should be taught by someone with at least an associate’s degree in early childhood education. People who have earned that degree should be compensated accordingly, not at level of a fast food worker. But that is the reality. Beginning of life, end of life — the story is the same. The day to day care of our loved ones is in the hands of those who love what they do, and work hard at it, but are just not compensated at a rate equal to their effort. A society is judged by how it treats its young and its old. What’s our grade?
kaisy, posted on bostonglobe.com
I don’t buy this notion that it is society’s responsibility to pay for day care. Have children when you are financially ready. Raise your children with a committed spouse who can share in the financial and care commitment. If both parents work, make sure you have jobs with flexibility or different schedules. Defer or reduce other expenses like home ownership and entertainment so you can pay for day care. Yes, all of these are difficult choices. But, when you choose to have children you are deciding to take on a substantial financial burden.
ZenQuant, posted on bostonglobe.com
Every generation has financially struggled raising kids. It wasn’t easy in the ‘70s. You make do with what you have and continue to move forward. My adult kids who had children in the ‘90s struggled. You just find a way and get through it.
Pippet, posted on bostonglobe.com
As an educator with a history of working on child care boards, I was delighted to get more insight into the current structure of the state’s early child care funding. I have been incredibly frustrated by my difficulty to get a clear understanding of what Congress will provide in funding early child care. Another article would be appreciated.
Sarah C. Jones, Westwood
Style and Substance
Latoyia Edwards’s article on her choice to wear braids (“Why I Choose to Wear Braids at Work,” November 7) was fabulous! She has been our favorite news anchor for many years. The first day she was on air with her braids I wanted so badly to find a way to let her know how beautiful she looked. They only add to her professional, intelligent, and friendly delivery of the newscast.
Christine Gunn, Peabody
Kudos to Edwards for embracing her beautiful, born-with hair. I, too, struggled with curly locks growing up as a third-generation Armenian girl in the ‘70s when Farrah Fawcett’s blond hair was on everyone’s mind. I struggled with my curls (ironing, straightening, and attempted blow drying), to no avail. I finally let my curls go natural and never looked back. I have a daughter in the television field in Washington, D.C., and recently asked her if my hair would be accepted on a news desk, when all of the other women seemingly have the same sleek styles. She immediately replied, ‘No Mom, no one on TV has hair like you.’ I replied, ‘Well... I have it!’
Janice Metjian, Watertown
Bravo to Latoyia and the [manager] who freed her from the horrid ritual of hair straightening. It is about time. No one would have made a man do that.
Ruth Stellatella, Rowley
This is a wonderful piece on Latoyia Edwards and her choice to be her authentic self. It is a story about a “little” thing that has bold and pervasive implications. Thanks to the Globe Magazine for recognizing that Latoyia’s journey would resonate with so many.
James Morton, Needham
Let’s be who we are!
Elliott Place, Hingham
I applaud Edwards for her strength to make the decisions best for her. I recently went to a self-care conference; the takeaway was we can’t look back and feel bad about what we’ve done—but we can look forward and not let others dictate who we are. As they say in Ireland—good on ya! As women we need to remember our voices are important and needed, and we all need to support each other in positive ways.
Laurie LeBlanc, Groveland
As a white woman I haven’t experienced the hair issues facing Black women but we have all shared the concern of our appearance. The change in attitude toward accepting our differences is long overdue. Perhaps the pandemic allowed us time to reflect on ourselves. The honesty she can share with her daughter is the most important job of a parent.
Ronnie Gould, Bedford
It makes me rather sad to read how hair was, and no doubt is, such an issue. I love Edwards’s braids and think she should wear her hair however she’d like.
June Blumenthal, Sharon
Edwards is a wonderful news anchor and journalist who did such a great job during the recent mayoral debates. Please continue the coverage of our superb local role models.
Jeff Zilberfarb, Boston
Congratulations to Edwards for having the courage to say enough is enough and for her news director to agree. I’ve watched Black colleagues face this arduous task toward “perfection” not only because they are Black but because they are women. What a burden. The focus should be on what they as individuals bring to the table—competence, relatability, skill. Not hair.
Holly Steel, Foxboro
I was moved and impressed by what Edwards wrote about coming to feel she should go on air with her braids. From the grief after her mother’s death, and the pain of seeing her daughter mistreated, came an honest reassessment of her own choices — and then came growth. SO admirable!
Keith Muntyan, Sharon
Love Edwards’s hair, hate the way the way we judge each other. As an someone about 10 years older than her, I kept my hair short because in business I was considered as looking too young with long hair. Enjoy your hair and life.
Maureen Porter, Upton
Beautiful article regarding our natural hair. I have been natural for 21 years. I recently interviewed for a job wearing my natural hair and went through the process years ago feeling as if it was not accepted. Edwards has been a voice for this challenging topic.
Tasha Smith, South End
I’m an African American 61-year-old from Providence. Just want to applaud Edwards for the breakthrough in proudly showing and educating the corporate and media worlds of the beauty and authenticity of not only our hair but our skin, too. Her affiliate station in Providence, plus the other two major networks, are still far behind in reflecting the community they serve. Need to continue sending the message to corporate America that audiences are of different shades, hair textures, and genders.
David Oyedele, Providence
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