The importance of high-quality, affordable child care affects everyone. In the spirit of the holiday giving season, Child Care Aware® of America is pleased to share with you a special edition story in Faces of Child Care, a series of stories from individuals of various walks of life who are affected by child care.
Read Ashley’s story below to learn more about how you can help Child Care Aware® of America work to ensure that every family in America has access to high-quality, affordable child care.
"We were caught completely by surprise by the diagnosis. We found out the precursor for the disease five months into my pregnancy during a routine sonogram. They heard an irregular heartbeat. When they did a more in-depth look, they found that Logan had a heart defect. He had two holes in his heart and pulmonary stenosis.
When my husband and I spoke with doctors, they were optimistic that Logan would make it through the labor process because he made it to the third trimester. At 35 weeks, he was delivered by emergency C-section. The doctors conducted a FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) test because he had multiple physical features that made them believe he may have some type of genetic syndrome.
Logan was diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome, a disorder caused by a defect in chromosome 22 that results in the poor development of several body systems.
We have had a very difficult year finding high-quality, affordable child care that accommodates Logan’s needs because he requires very specialized attention. As a result, my husband and I decided that it was best that I leave my job and become a stay at home mom so I can give him the care he needs. Financially, it has added a challenge to our lives, but we are so blessed to have him."
-Ashley Brunke, Stay-at-Home Mother of Two with Son Who Has Special Needs
In a national survey of families who had children with disabilities, one-fifth of respondents indicated that someone in their family had to quit working or work fewer hours because of a child’s health. To learn more, please read our Child Care Deserts Report.
Ashley’s story is just one example of the many challenges that families with special needs children face when seeking affordable, high-quality child care. Child Care Works, our new advocacy-based movement, is working with public officials and lawmakers to make child care accessible, affordable, and high-quality for all families.