This Video Hilariously Breaks Down What's Wrong With Child Care In America

Elizabeth Thorp is the editor-in-chief of PYPO, an online comedy network for female performers. The views expressed here are her own.

Why do we have to fight for everything? Every. Little. Thing. We fight for our right to choose, fight for equal pay, fight for background checks, fight for universal health care, fight for paid family leave, and fight for affordable child care. It's exhausting.

Is it so crazy to think that America, an industrialized nation and the leader of the free world, would have affordable child care figured out? Sweden, a country with only about 3% of America’s gross domestic product, guarantees public, whole-day child care to all parents — most facilities are open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The United States needs to get this right, especially because in almost two-thirds of American families, mothers are now the primary or co-primary breadwinners. The annual cost of a child-care center for a typical American family with a baby and a 4-year-old is nearly $18,000. This is not necessarily high-quality child care, either. As a result, many families face the unfavorable choice of spending almost 30% of their paychecks on child care, or leaving the workforce altogether. This is a big hit for the American economy and for families.

A 26-year-old mother who takes five years off from a median-paying job — say $44,000 — would forfeit $706,778 over a work life, reducing her lifetime earnings by about 20%, according to a calculator provided by the Center for American Progress. We’re not okay with this. Are you?

President Obama hit the nail on the head: “It’s not a nice-to-have — it’s a must-have,” he said. “It’s time we stop treating child care as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.”

High-quality, affordable early child care — it’s a no brainer. Visit for more information, and vote for child care on November 8.

Refinery29 has partnered with more than 50 of the country's biggest women's media brands and political nonprofit Rock The Vote to register 100,000 women to vote. Become a voter today by signing up with #OurVoteCounts below.


More from US News