child care in San Francisco needs help

Many working parents in San Francisco have to move for one simple reason: they cannot find child care.   In the most liberal city in America, getting your kid into a child care program takes nepotism, bribery, some luck, and a whole lot of headache.

One friend of mine has been on the waitlist at five different locations for over a year.   And they put their current odds of getting into a program at less than 10%.   It is a shame.  

not knowing anything about caring for children (i'm still struggling with caring for my plants), it seems like there is a big business opporetunity to provide affordable, yet quality, childcare for working parents.

2 thoughts on “child care in San Francisco needs help

  1. mark jen
    looks like there are a good # of requirements you have to meet in order to run/work at a licensed day care center; probably a high enough barrier to entry that causes there to be less supply than demand.
    that being said, it seems to reason that an enterprising day care center would just raise their prices until they had no one on the waiting list to maximize their revenues and create market equilibrium. currently, day care centers are still a bit cheaper than hiring a private nanny (about half the cost).

  2. bill

    I’m a young parent with two little ones. I know several young parents. Every single one of us is having challenges with respect to child care.
    1) The stay-home mother option: the mother is dead tired in the end of day. It’s hard on the dad too as he works hard the whole day, get home, and have to deal with a grumpy wife and two kids. 🙂
    2) Nannies: I know once couple who went though 5 nannies in a span of 12 months. It’s very hard to find quality nannies.
    3) Day care: like you said, most good day care places have long waiting list.
    I too thought about the entrepreneurial opportunity to help parents. But, I think there are some natural constraints here: to care for toddlers (e.g. 1-3 years old), one teacher cannot handle more than 4 or 5 kids. Therefore, this limits how much revenue a day care center can generate per teacher. Plus, there are a lot of regulations and risks associated with running day care.


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