It’s Time to Make Changes in Childcare Options – Greenville

Written by Amanda

It’s Time to Make Changes in Childcare Options  Greenville

writing to let you know about childcare.

We’ve got to
do something, and it’s
overdue. Too many families, too many parents, and too many children are impacted
by our lack of coordinated, well-concentrated, and supportive efforts to expand
quality, affordable care for children.  

Childcare came into focus as an essential part of a
well-functioning labor market and the broader economy during the Covid-19
pandemic, as daycare and school closures forced parents to make some tough

Earlier this year, Wells Fargo economists said a drop in daycare
employment left about 460,000 families needing to find alternative care

And for employers struggling to find workers and facing a future
of dismal labor supply growth, improving childcare options for parents means a
larger and higher-quality workforce to draw upon, the economists said.

“A system that does not work well for parents or providers
means that we all pay through lower labor force participation, greater hiring
difficulties for employers, slower potential growth, smaller tax bases and
ultimately smaller families,” the economists wrote in a special commentary.  “A rethinking of policy, if done
thoughtfully, could offer a substantial return on investment.”

While the national median for annual childcare spending is
$6,000, the costs vary across the U.S., according to a new study from
HowtoHome.com looking at the U.S. states with the least affordable childcare.

The analysis found that families in South Carolina spend a median
$3,600 on childcare annually. 

A link to the original report, which includes a table with data
on all states with complete data available, can be found at: https://www.howtohome.com/states-spending-most-on-childcare.

As HowtoHome.com researchers note, the last few years have been
tough on working parents. Daycare and school closures during the Covid-19
pandemic forced parents to rearrange their work schedules, reduce their hours,
or even leave the workforce entirely.

As a result, childcare came into focus as an essential part of a
well-functioning labor market and the broader economy. And in response,
policymakers expanded the Child Tax Credit to provide additional financial
assistance for families with kids, but payments have since reverted to previous
levels, the researchers say.

They note that over the past two decades, childcare costs have
risen much faster than overall prices. They say that between 2000 and 2021,
prices for all goods and services increased 76 percent, while prices for
daycare and preschool climbed nearly 120 percent. 

Today, American families with children 13 and under spend a
median $6,000 (or 5.3 percent of their income) on childcare annually, the
researchers say, citing data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.

They say that the expanded Child Tax Credit, part of the American
Rescue Plan, increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 to either $3,600 (for
children under age 6) or $3,000 (for other children under age 18 in 2021). The
American Rescue Plan also increased the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit,
which helps to offset childcare expenses. 

However, while there has been federal support to renew the
credits, starting in 2022, that isn’t certain at a time when many families are facing large
childcare costs, record inflation, and other economic uncertainties.

While median annual childcare spending is $6,000 overall among
families with kids 13 and under, childcare costs vary across the U.S. In
certain states, median annual childcare spending tops $9,000, according to

Families with children 13 and under in Alaska and Minnesota spend
$9,600 and $9,400, respectively, on childcare expenses. Meanwhile, childcare is
much more affordable in other parts of the country such as West Virginia where
families spend just $3,000 on annual childcare expenses.

HowtoHome.com researchers say high childcare costs have
disproportionate impacts on low-income families and racial minorities, many of
whom allocate significantly more than 7 percent of their income to childcare —
the threshold used by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to
assess childcare affordability. 

The researchers say American Indian and Alaskan Native families
spend 8.5 percent of their income on childcare while non-Hispanic white
families spend 5 percent and Asian families spend just 4.6 percent. 

Households earning less than $25,000 spend nearly 17 percent of
their income on childcare while households earning $100,000 or more spend just
4.3 percent.

To determine the states with the most and least affordable
childcare, researchers at HowtoHome.com analyzed the latest data from the U.S.
Census Bureau’s Current
Population Survey. They ranked states according to the median share of
household income spent on childcare, among households who spent money on
childcare with children 13 and under. Researchers also calculated median annual
childcare spending and median annual household income for the same group of

Here is a summary of the data for South Carolina:

Share of income spent on childcare: 4.6 percent.

Median annual childcare spending: $3,600.

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United

Share of income spent on childcare: 5.3 percent.

Median annual childcare spending: $6,000

McKinsey & Company researchers believe finding quality,
affordable childcare has long been an issue for working parents in the
United States, but events of the past two years have only intensified the
challenge and highlighted what a porous, patchwork system childcare has become.

They say the global pandemic drove many day care centers,
after-school programs, private nannies and babysitters, and other childcare
resources to reduce their hours, change the scope of their services, or close
their doors altogether. In response, some working parents in the United States
left or considered leaving the workforce as they struggled to meet
work-from-home demands while still attending to the needs of homebound
toddlers and school-aged children.

I agree with McKinsey that as companies begin to think about
managing returning talent and attracting new joiners — whether in traditional
or hybrid work environments — they can no longer ignore employees’ (and potential
childcare requirements, and by removing penalties for parents who are taking
care of young children, companies can turn the Great Attrition into the Great
Attraction and develop and advance more diverse talent.

Employers who pay attention to this feedback, and act
thoughtfully to support employees’ childcare needs, might gain a competitive edge with
current and prospective employees, McKinsey says. They may even establish
themselves as destination workplaces over the long term — truly differentiating
themselves in the ever-evolving talent game.

McKinsey says corporate leaders have a unique opportunity to
innovate in childcare support and help working families achieve their full

It says companies may want to explore on-site day care
initiatives, as Patagonia has done, offering childcare at its headquarters in
California and at a distribution center in Reno, Nevada. Tuition is on a
sliding scale, and services are available to both hourly and salaried

The company has reported 25 percent lower turnover rates among
employees who use the childcare program compared with the overall

like to know what you think. Please email me at [email protected]

Source: news.google.com

About the author


Hi there, I am Amanda and I work as an editor at impactinvesting.ai;  if you are interested in my services, please reach me at amanda.impactinvesting.ai

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