Author J.D. Vance Thinks Daycare Is ‘Terrible for Children.’ Twitter Set Him Straight

Sigh. Here we go again.

The Hillbilly Elegy author had a really bad take about daycare that was roasted by pretty much everyone.

If you thought you were living in 2021, guess again. The pandemic has made one thing crystal clear: Plenty of men would be perfectly fine with heading back to the 1950s.

The latest example is Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance, who decided to post a truly asinine take about daycare on Twitter.

“The establishment critique of universal daycare is that it spends too much money,” he begins. “The better critique is that it’s terrible for children, and that a healthy society should make it easier for parents to care for kids. Spend money on parents, not corporate daycare.”

It’s a bad tweet on so many levels, and you better believe Twitter users let him know it. Let’s break down all the reasons why he’s wrong, shall we?

1. Universal daycare doesn’t spend “too much money.”

We’re not exactly sure what he’s saying here, but we’ll take a stab at setting the “establishment” straight: Daycare is extraordinarily expensive for many working families, and yet child care workers are chronically underpaid. But making daycare universal–i.e. available and affordable to more families–actually saves money in the long run because it allows more parents to work. There’s plenty of evidence that the high cost of child care is a big reason why parents dip in and out of the workforce. If you get more kids into care, you get more parents into the workforce, and you get the economy growing.

2. Daycare is not “terrible for children.” (Does this really need to be said in 2021?)

Admittedly, I’m pretty biased about the benefits of daycare since I just dropped my daughter off at her lovely in-home provider, but fortunately it’s not just my own experience that negates his ignorant assertion–there’s also decades of research. High-quality childcare makes kids better behaved, more likely to graduate college, and even boosts their language skills and cognitive development.

Plenty of parents pointed out that daycare has been great for their children:

3. He’s right that a “healthy society should make it easier for parents to care for kids.”

We totally agree! That’s why Working Mother continues to advocate for paid family leave, paid sick leave, child tax credits and dependent care tax credits. Being a parent is hard and expensive, and society should definitely make it easier. The Biden-Harris administration understands this–it’s why the American Families Plan provides all of these measures and more. So, J.D., are you saying you support it?

3. But we should spend money on parents AND “corporate daycare,” whatever that is.

Here’s a crazy notion: Some moms want to work. And they are exceptionally good at their jobs. And we should probably keep them in the labor force, for the sake of our economy, and, you know, for women, generally. And while those moms are working, we should pay professional caregivers to take care of their children. And, bear with me here, but we could even call it… daycare!

(We’re going to make a wild guess that he wasn’t referring to dads giving up their day jobs to “care for kids.”)

We could properly fund that care, so working parents can afford it, but also offer tax credits for parents who prefer to stay home. In other words, we could help families thrive no matter what arrangement they prefer.

This is where it gets completely crazy: This is exactly what the American Families Plan proposes–affordable childcare and universal preschool for families who need to work, and tax credits to offset costs for other families.

You just tweeted yourself into supporting the American Families Plan. Thanks, J.D.!


Sigh. Here we go again.

The Hillbilly Elegy author had a really bad take about daycare that was roasted by pretty much everyone.

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