Modern Living: While Mothers Work

The registered nurse walked into the bright, clean child-care center in Santa Monica, seeking to enroll her 3½-year-old daughter. Aware that the state-supported center gave priority to children of single, low-income mothers, she was confident that her daughter would be accepted. What she did not know, however, was that her salary ($600 a month) put her in a top-fee bracket: placing her youngster in the center would cost her $200 a month, far more than she could afford. "She came in here so strong," the center's director recalled. "Then, as we talked about her situation, she began to crumble. She didn't...

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