Christina Townsend found that child care costs for her young son were $1,625 per monthly in Northern Virginia. That is approximately 50% of her net income. This was in addition to the financial burden of taking unpaid paternal leave when he was born.
Last summer, the small family of her decided to move across America to Denver, Colorado. Denver was cheaper. The cost of childcare was still a challenge. Townsend, a mother with a master’s degree in early child education, finally decided to stop teaching and instead work remotely as a contractor, while taking care of her 18 month-old son. Her son was her favorite thing, and her husband made a better income. However, the decision required some trade-offs.
Townsend explained that she has worked full-time for years and years. She was an excellent saver and literally hasn’t been in a position to save any money since the birth of her son. Townsend isn’t sure if she will return to teaching.
Children’s care is expensive for many families in the United States. The federal funding for this industry will end later this year. This could lead to higher prices, closing of facilities, and parents having to make difficult economic decisions like cutting back on hours or quitting their job altogether.
Many providers will close their doors, which is a fact. Families will see rising costs if they are able to find child-care. Melissa Boteach from the National Women’s Law Center stated that funding may end.
A new report by the Women’s Bureau this month found that even in areas where child care costs are relatively lower, many families still face a huge financial burden.
The Labor Department compiled new data across 2,360 counties in 47 States. It was found that infant care costs ranged from $5.357 for home-based school-aged care for one child in small county, to over $17,000 in 2022 dollars in large-county care centers. This is between 8% and 19.3% of median family income per child. It’s also higher than what the Department of Health and Human Services considers reasonable child care: 7% of a household’s income.
Low-income families, as well as single and divorcing parents, are more vulnerable. Child Care Aware of America revealed that child care costs could be as high as 40% for divorcing parents. Children care for a household with one parent, who has never been married, can cost 31% to 43% of the median income of White and Asian households. It is 49% for American Indian and Alaska Native households.
Anne Hedgepeth (chief of policy and advocacy, Child Care Aware of America) stated that it is absurd to think of a family budget that covers basic needs like food and housing.
The coronavirus devastated the country. Congress responded. Passed A series of relief packages included money to support the child care system. Child care providers across the country used money to keep their doors open, close, reopen, pay off loans, raise wages to retain and hire more staff, and conduct additional training to prevent parents’ costs from rising. But the money, meant as a temporary fix, is set to end within the next two years – including $24 billion meant to stabilize the system expiring at the end of September and another $15 billion the following September.
Even with the relief – parents are struggling to find care. Child Care Aware of America’s research has shown that center-based childcare is almost back on its feet, but the number of home-based childcare providers is continuing to decline.
There are also fewer workers now than ever before The pandemic — the child care workforce is down about 7.5%, Labor Department data shows. Even though overall wages have increased because of the tight labor market child care providers, which operate with razor-thin profit margins cannot pay workers more to keep the cost of families down. Many child care workers of high-skill, often women of color, receive poverty-level wages. Many people who used to work in the industry are now looking for higher-paying jobs that may be less stressful.
Boteach stated, “You can make more in retail and restaurants than you can caring about our most precious resource, our children.” “We can’t pay child-care workers more, because then we’re charging parents more. It’s very difficult to attract and keep a workforce without new public dollars.”
The price of child care directly affects whether parents themselves can work – particularly mothers. Women’s Bureau’s report showed that in areas where childcare was twice as costly than the median, maternal employment rates were four percentage points lower. ZipRecruiter’s recent survey found that 54% said they would work longer hours if they could receive child care benefits.
Some parents have to choose between keeping their job and paying child care costs, or staying at home to care for their children, sacrificing their income. While it may be worth the long-term benefits of keeping a job or contributing to Social Security, it can be difficult for parents to make the right decision in the short-term. It’s not possible for all parents to make that choice.
In other ways, affordable child care also benefits the economy. Studies show that it will lead to an increase of GDP when more parents can participate in the workforce. Small businesses have called for an increase in affordable child care in multiple surveys — which they say, among other things, would help them find workers and reduce turnover.
The Biden administration has been pushing for affordable childcare as part its economic agenda. However, child care was eventually cut from the spending package last year because some lawmakers were uncomfortable with the proposal’s price tag (which included $400 billion to pay for pre-K). You are fighting Over spending cuts Current funding levels mean that only 1/7 children eligible for child care assistance are actually being provided by their parents.
However, some states are taking steps to increase affordable child care. This month, Governor. Gretchen Whitmer demanded free pre-K for all 4 year-olds using Michigan’s surplus budget. State lawmakers in Vermont are working to expand child-care subsidies. New Mexico was the first state to establish a permanent child-care fund. A record 70% of voters approved a constitutional amendment that guaranteed child care.
Sam Abbott, senior policy analyst at Washington Center for Equitable Growth, stated that “you’re seeing many different states really start having a greater direct hand in the child-care system.”
He said that some states have not even considered the issue. “I am skeptical that this is a solution that does not require a national policy.”
Police shoot man who opened fire at Target
Water rights are being considered by investors as the drought in Western Australia continues
Police are looking for a man in connection to 2 monkeys that were stolen from Dallas Zoo
Leave a Reply