Making Pre-K Possible

How Multnomah County won universal preschool

Lydia Gay-Holifield: "I was a preschool teacher many moons ago. You never stop being a preschool teacher. It's embedded in you." While Lydia loved her job, she had a problem: she wasn't paid enough to afford for her own daughter to attend preschool.  Lydia thinks: "Am I gonna have to quit my job because I can't afford to take my baby to school? What do I do?" Fortunately, the director of Lydia's preschool let her start bringing her daughter to work. Lydia says, "I got lucky. But not everyone does. They have to decide: Do I pay my rent? Do I pay my light bill? Do I buy food?" Many parents face this cruel calculus. Childcare is extraordinarily expensive in the US—-and Oregon is the fourth-least-affordable state for the cost of preschool. Average cost of childcare in Oregon per year for a one-year-old is $13,616; for a four-year-old is $10,061. And at the same time, childcare workers are terribly paid. The average pay for a childcare worker in Oregon is $24,680.


Civic Life, Education, Family, Politics, Public Policy, Magazine


No comments yet.

Also in this Issue

Director's Note: Here, Gone, Still Here

Editor's Note: Care

Care Is the Only Useful Revolution

Tell Me About That

Making Pre-K Possible

Building a Bridge for Mental Health

Binding Fenrir

Simple Respect




People, Places, Things

Discussion Questions and Further Reading: Care