Lets talk about gentrified daycares.

Daycares that are for “exploring” and “sensory” and “gardening.” Set up in low-income neighbors and cost $140 a day. That’s right $140 A DAY!

So while some rich white woman’s kids are going to the “Center for Rich Children”, mine are stuck in the basement of some church with little windows. Sorry poor kids (including my own), windows and sun are for the babies whose parents decided not to be social workers, or construction workers. Whose parents never had an “ops” and now here you are, beautiful child who is stuck in a room the size of my bathroom with seven other children.

What is nice is that some of these gentrified daycares that used to offer sliding scales and such allow state assisted children at their facilities. Pat them on the back for that one they are really trying to diversify with that move. However what they fail to recognize are the immigrants who also live or work in their neighbors and do not have access to state assistance.

I am not only talking about undocumented immigrants here because green card holders are not allowed to fall on hard times. We are a country where everyone is self sufficient, especially here in Missouri, where you can make $7.50 an hour minimum wage (after we decided $11/hour was too much) and a typical 2-bedroom apartment costs $775 a month. That type of income really allows for a lot wiggle room. Probably enough room for the Center for Rich Children. Just kidding, my kids are still stuck in the basement.

Even if we could apply for state assistance you know what financial burden they do not ask you on your monthly expenses? Immigration expenses. You spent $10,000 in a year on immigration fees? No biggie, because you are applying for a green card so you are rich, because we only allow rich people here.

At the end of the day we are the working poor. Who can barely afford to put our kids in daycare, and eat. Who cannot even afford the daycares in our own neighborhoods. Who sometimes have too many kids too quickly. Who are on birth control and get pregnant anyway. Who know that abortions are emotional and maybe that is or is not the choice for us. Who are just trying to get by and offer our children different experiences. I want my children to explore, have all the opportunity for sensory time and to fucking garden. But as long as my children are stuck in the basement because these gentrified daycares set up shop and then won’t let us in, they won’t be gardening. Ever wonder how long a plant can stay alive in a basement with no sun? Now think of my children down there for 40 hours a week while I’m making enough just to get by. Yet ya’ll want to claim systematic oppression does not start at the very beginning of life.  Tell that to mis pobrecitos.

Amanda Tello “As woke as you may think you re, you can’t be free until everyone is free” Latinx, Mamá, Activist, Theologian, Unapologetically Brown

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