US Child Care Crisis: “The whole system is under pressure from all angles and something must explode”
Even though many expectant parents have their go bag, assembled the cradle and decorated the nursery, they might not be fully prepared for life with a child.
They’d better prepare even more, according to a new survey – not just for sleepless nights, but also for high childcare costs and career choices they didn’t anticipate. Two-thirds of expectant parents told Care.com US: CRCM
they believed that the price to pay for raising a newborn baby would not affect their career choices.
The national average weekly costs for a nanny are now $ 596, up 26% from 2014.
But once they had children, 63% of survey participants said rising costs forced them to change careers.
• 38% changed jobs to increase take-home pay.
• 36% asked for more flexible working hours.
• 26% switched to part-time work and 22% became stay-at-home parents.
The results are part of Care.com’s annual review of child care costs, which shows prices rising sharply.
The national average weekly costs for a nanny are now $ 596, up 26% from the site’s 2014 report. At the same time, it now costs an average of $ 213 to pay for a week in a daycare center, a 14.5% increase from five years ago, according to the survey. Average rates for an after-school babysitter are now $ 244, a 34% increase.
“The whole system is under pressure from all angles and something has to explode. The main pressure is on families, ”said Doug French, co-founder and director of programming for the Dad 2.0 Summit.
The annual event brings together fathers, researchers and marketers to discuss issues relating to fatherhood. French said he would often hear fathers talk about rising costs – usually when they talk about negotiations for time off and flexible working arrangements.
In the survey, nearly three-quarters of parents said childcare costs were higher than expected. This despite the fact that 84% of parents said they budget for costs. In 2014, just over half of parents foresaw the costs.
The findings echo what other research has found, and what many parents quickly learn: Child care fees don’t get cheaper.
Parents spent an average of $ 9,000 to $ 9,000 on child care for a child in 2017, a 7.5% increase from the previous year, according to an analysis last year by Child Care Aware of America. It costs over $ 28,500 per year to pay a nanny year round, using Care.com’s weekly rate.
Families should only spend 7% of their income on child care, according to 2016 guidelines from the Department of Health and Social Services. But the new Care.com survey – much like the Child Care Aware of America research – indicates that many families are spending significantly more money on this expense.
More than 70% of families in the new survey said they spend more than 10% of their income on child care. When Care.com asked the question for its 2016 survey, 54% said they spent at least 10% of their household income on child care.
Child care costs have become an issue in the presidential campaign, and various Democratic candidates are supporting ways to secure or defray these costs. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, said families earning half the federal poverty line should get a free child care program, while families earning twice the poverty line would have costs capped at 7% of their income.
Last year, President Donald Trump allocated $ 8.1 billion to states to fund low-income home child care; The sum was a $ 2.4 billion increase in the Child Care and Development Fund.
Childcare costs push some to get into debt
Care.com survey shows how rising childcare costs are consuming money that families could have used elsewhere, which is a blow when many other costs need to be factored in , such as rising health care costs or student loan bills. Thirty-one percent of parents said they would have to take on more debt to pay for child care costs. A year ago, 25% said they got into debt or absorb more by paying childcare costs.
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High costs affect fathers and mothers differently. Women were more often the ones to put tasks on the back burner, according to the survey. Three-quarters of women said last-minute childcare issues affected their workday, compared to 66% of men.
When men and women have had to take time off work due to a difficult childcare situation, the survey found that 32% of mothers lost a day’s pay, compared to 23% of fathers.
The figures give a glimpse of the division of household chores that still bind many women to childcare.
the Bureau of Labor StatisticsAn annual time use study shows that on a typical day in a home with adults and a child under 6, women spend 1.1 hours physically caring for the child. The men spent 26 minutes on the same task. This number is essentially unchanged from the agency’s 2014 findings on time use.
With a growing number of stay-at-home dads, the Papa 2.0 summit, held nine years ago, now includes discussions on what stay-at-home dads should know when they re-enter the workforce, French noted.
More than 11 million parents, or nearly a fifth of all mothers and fathers in 2016, were stay-at-home parents, according to the Pew Research Center. Seven percent of fathers stayed at home to care for their children, up from four percent in 1989. For mothers, the rate was about the same – 28% in 1989 and 27% in 2016.
There is still a “predominant idea” that in a household with a mother and father, the mother would be the person staying at home, French said.
“When you put on such pressure, we don’t have time for stereotypes. All we have are the financial problems that we need to fix as best we can. If the mother has a better career, then she has to go and get the money.
Shares of Care.com are down 43.5% year-to-date. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
is up 17% at the same time, while the S&P 500 SPX,
are up almost 20%.