Child care rates are through the roof in part because thousands of centers closed down during the pandemic, according to CNBC.
Rates rising: According to a survey by Care.com, 63% of parents report child care has become more expensive in the past year.
- The cost of nannies went up about 20% over the course of the pandemic, and the cost of babysitters rose by between 5% and 15%.
Child care spending: About half of parents say they spend more than 20% of their household income on child care, and 72% said they spend more than 10%.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines child care as “affordable” if it costs less than 7% of a family’s household income.
Reason for cost spikes: While high inflation levels are playing a role in raising child care costs, the problem largely stems from COVID-19-induced closures. According to Child Care Aware, about 9,000 child care centers closed between December 2019 and March 2021.
- Closures have led to two-year-long waitlists at some child care centers and put babysitters and nannies in high demand.
Parents make changes: To deal with rising child care rates, many parents are considering taking on another job, changing jobs, reducing hours at work and leaving the workforce entirely.
Employers stepping up: Fifty-six percent of employers offer child care benefits, according to Care.com. Manufacturers are at the forefront of these.