Boston Globe, In Academia, There’s a Caste System For Parents and It Could Backfire:
Boston University is spending $10 million to upgrade its child care center, moving and expanding operations to a freshly-renovated historic home that will offer staffing levels well above state requirements.
With three times the capacity of the current facility, a high-level child care center right near campus in Brookline’s leafy Cottage Farm neighborhood should be a powerful perk for BU employees. But the eye-popping tuition for the new facility — $2,500 a month for infants and $2,250 for toddlers — has created a firestorm on campus. ...
The child care crunch in academia is not unique to BU. Costs are so hefty at many schools that it has created a kind of day care caste system in academia. Lower-paid employees and grad students at many local colleges, eking out a living on stipends and grants, can’t begin to afford day care at some of the Boston area’s top universities, where the monthly cost of caring for an infant can exceed $3,000. ...
At BU prices are considered affordable. For now. But once it moves next year to its renovated location, the top-shelf new prices kick in. Families who have children at the old site, which is closing, will be grandfathered with a small price increase at the new center, but only for one year.
Christina Rice, director of the graduate tax program in BU’s law school, is worried. She has a 3-year-old daughter at the current center, and is due with her second child Christmas Eve. She will be charged the full new monthly price of $2,500 for him.
That means Rice and her husband will face a monthly child care bill of nearly $4,000 — and that’s with the temporary price for their eldest. BU, unlike other schools, does not offer financial assistance for child care. As a staffer, Rice is paid more modestly than faculty. She said she and her husband, a public high school teacher, won’t be able to afford having their son at the center, too.