Matt Hoffmann, parent/adjunct professor, Chicago, IL

As parent working as an adjunct professor, I still can’t afford child care.

Matt HI am an adjunct sociology professor who teaches at Loyola in Chicago. Having a child makes it harder to teach. Because my annual income is around $20,000 a year, I can’t afford child care at all.

When I am trying to get classes, I have to also work with my wife’s schedule and I have to work with the administration. Next semester, I have no teaching job lined up at Loyola because I don’t have adequate child care.

Personally, I want skilled providers. I want the people who take care of children to be happy, healthy and well-compensated. I think that when providers are stress free, they are able to provide better care. They deserve to be paid well; they provide an invaluable service, a universally valued and needed service. There needs to be accessible, affordable child care.

Child care is the beginning of the education system and it’s critically important. I think my case shows how broken the education system is, from the bottom to the top—and I have a Ph.D.—and teachers on all levels are exploited throughout the system. America says it values education, so it needs to show it.