WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PARENTS LEAVE THE WORKFORCE BECAUSE THEY CANNOT AFFORD CHILD CARE?
The annual cost of a child care center for a typical American family with an infant and a four-year-old is nearly $18,000. As a result, many parents face the untenable choice between spending an average of nearly 30 percent of their paycheck on child care or leaving the workforce altogether.
THERE NEEDS TO BE A BETTER OPTION.
A recent poll found that three-quarters of mothers and half of fathers have either left the workforce or switched to a less demanding job in order to care for their children.
When parents leave the workforce, THEY LOSE MUCH MORE THAN JUST THEIR ANNUAL SALARY; the cost of this decision follows them for life. After taking into account the potential wage growth and lost retirement savings over time, a parent who leaves the workforce loses up to four times their annual salary per year.
The nation needs a major national solution to put child care within reach for working families. To learn more about how you can get involved in the fight to make child care affordable for working families go towww.withinreachcampaign.org.
[x_button shape=”square” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”https://interactives.americanprogress.org/childcarecosts/” title=”The Hidden Cost of a Failing Child Care System” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Check out the Calculator[/x_button]
“Susan was maxed out. At home, she juggled errands, laundry, meals, and cleaning. At work, she’d hit the ground running every morning, making calls, taking meetings, and plowing through her inbox. She was busy but happy; she liked getting things done. She enjoyed making to-do lists and then crushing them.
Then she failed to get a promotion she thought was in the bag. To say she was frustrated would be an understatement. There weren’t enough hours in the day for her to give any more time to her work, and anyway she was already way more productive than her peers. So how was she going to get to the next rung on the ladder?
That’s how Susan (not her real name) ended up in my office.”
Does this situation sound familiar? It’s a pattern I’ve seen again and again among many high-potential, talented female leaders: high aspirations turning into disillusionment.
[x_button shape=”square” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”https://hbr.org/2016/03/the-time-consuming-activities-that-stall-womens-careers” title=”The Time-Consuming Activities That Stall Women’s Careers” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Read the full article.[/x_button]
“In countries around the world, the ways in which men and women spend their time are unbalanced. Men spend more time working for money. Women do the bulk of the unpaid work — cooking, cleaning and child care.
This unpaid work is essential for households and societies to function. But it is also valued less than paid work, and when it is women’s responsibility, it prevents them from doing other things.
“This is one of those root inequalities that exist all over in society and we just don’t talk about it very much,” Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Gates Foundation, said in an interview. She said she was inspired by her own observations when traveling to other countries as well as by time-use data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. “If we don’t bring it forward, we basically won’t unlock the potential of women.”
[x_button shape=”square” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/upshot/how-society-pays-when-womens-work-is-unpaid.html?_r=0″ title=”How Society Pays When Women’s Work Is Unpaid” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Read the full article.[/x_button]