Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Costs of Childcare in America

 Having children is an event that many in Americans choose to embark upon and has been built into the "typical" model of the American dream. While there are many factors that contribute to the decision to have a child, early child care costs from infancy to the start of grade school may be a large deterrent. According to Census Bureau, the cost of child care has almost doubled in the last 25 years. This burden falls heavily on working mothers as they are more likely to leave their jobs to take care of children if they make less than their partner. And once children reach grade school, these women find it difficult to get back into, and become a competitive force in the workplace again.

Regardless of income, many feel the strain of childcare. However some of the hardest hit are those right above the income bracket to receive government assistance and those living in poverty. While the average percent of household income spent on childcare is about 7%, It can be much higher for low income families (about 30%!). This can impact the families ability to pay for other things such as housing, utilities and food; which can effect the health and wellness of every family member.

Planning is an essential part of being prepared. If you are planning to have a child, start early (even before you are pregnant!) and figure out what options you have availible and what would work best for your family. Availible childcare services may even play a role in where you choose to live. Of course, almost half of pregnacies in the US are unplanned, giving parents less time to setup a gameplan. Once you discover you or your partner is pregnant it is time to start looking at options. Make sure to ultilize some of your most valuable resources... family and friends who have recently gone through the same thing! For those in the Philadelphia area http://www.philadelphiachildcare.org/ is a resources that helps parents find childcare. If you are not in the Philadelphia area, simply type "childcare" followed by your area for results. Good luck parents!

Rising childcare costs; US Census


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