Presidential Campaigns Side With Families And Highlight Child Care
Costs As Hot Election Issue in 2016
WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to the Care.com
2016 Cost of Care Survey, 54% of families spend more than 10% of
their annual household income on child care. In the last year, as
housing costs have climbed to rival child care costs as top expenses,
families are recognizing the need to budget for child care more than
ever before. In fact, the third annual survey from Care.com (NYSE: CRCM, www.care.com),
the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family
care, found that today, 74% of families budget for child care.
“The cost of child care is one of the top three expenses for families,
falling next to housing costs and far exceeding college education,”
states Katie Bugbee, global parenting expert and senior managing editor
of Care.com. “Families have tended to budget and save for the other two
items and now they’re budgeting for care, too – this is a change from
the past. However, it’s clear from the Care.com Cost of Care Survey that
many still face challenges staying within budget – finding that quality
care, everyday essentials, unexpected extras and everything that comes
along with parents wanting to provide the best for their children
quickly add up.”
CARE.COM 2016 COST OF CARE SURVEY INSIGHTS
How Prepared Are Families for Child Care Costs?
Housing prices have risen in the past year and now rival the cost of
child care, according to Child
Care Aware. Families are increasingly feeling the pinch. That may be
why approximately 3 out of 4 respondents (74%) are now budgeting for
child care, an increase from 62% in 2015 and 58% in 2014.
Yet, despite this preparation, 66% of families surveyed are still
surprised at the cost of child care, finding it costs more than they
expected. The survey revealed significant challenges for families to
stay on budget: 1 in 3 (33%) rarely or never are able to stay within
their overall family budget and 49% of families claimed that their child
care costs are rising. In fact, 40% say their cost of child care has
increased by $1,000 or more per year and 15% saying it has increased by
$5,000 or more per year. And while having more children can clearly
impact what they spend, parents also attribute this increase to the rise
in day care costs and added extracurricular activities.
Where is All the Money Going?
3 out of 5 families (60%) wonder “where is all the money going” when it
comes to how much they spend on their children; furthermore, 21% think
they spend $30,000 or more per year on each child for everything, while
71% simply don’t know.
In addition to basic care, everyday essentials and extra activities add
up quickly. According to the survey, on an annual basis, approximately 1
in 3 families (34%) spend $1,000 or more on extracurricular activities;
34% spend $1,000 or more on clothing; 1 in 5 spend $2,000 or more on
summer camp; and 44% spend between $500 and $1,999 on diapers alone.
Technology may be contributing to the increased spending. The efficiency
of shopping apps and e-commerce sites attracts time-crunched parents,
with 52% of families reporting that they’re likely to spend more money
due to the ease of technology.
Just How Costly Is Child Care?
The impact of child care costs varies across families but it is clearly
being felt. About one-fifth (21%) have waited to have children due to
the costs, which rises to 26% for millennials. And 1 in 4 have put
themselves in debt or further debt to pay for child care. In fact,
saving less money tops the list of things parents have done to pay for
child care, followed by saving no money at all, and saving less for
retirement. But don’t expect many regrets here – 80% of families
surveyed feel their child care plan is worth the money.
What Extra Skills Or Qualities Are Families Willing To Pay For?
While 49% of families feel they spend too much on child care, they’re
still willing to pay more for certain features. Topping child
care center and school amenities for which families would pay more are
variety in classes (e.g., yoga), video camera capabilities to check in
on their child, and better technology for child care center/schools and
families to communicate with one another. For in-home care, parents
would be willing to pay more for nannies, babysitters and au pairs if
they’re multilingual and can teach the children another language, are
CPR/First Aid certified, and can cook organic meals and snacks for their
child. Even technology ranks as a caregiver skill, with 29% saying
they’d pay more per week if the caregiver could teach their children
Work Arounds: Working Families Are Coming Up With New Strategies to
Pay For Care.
The impact of care costs is felt outside of the home too, with 2 out of
3 working parents (67%) stating that child care costs have influenced
their careers, and that number climbs to 72% among millennials. Topping
the list of ways in which parents are trying to balance cost of child
care and work are asking for a flexible work schedule to save on child
care, changing jobs to increase pay, and switching from full-time to
part-time to save money. Additionally, 43% feel they have to work harder
to make more money to cover child care and 34% worry about job security
and the cost of care’s impact on their family’s financial future.
The need for employer support is real. An overwhelming majority of those
employed (85%) stated that they wish their employer offered child care
benefits, support that would seem to benefit parents and employers
alike. Roughly 3 in 4 working parents (74%) state their job has been
impacted when child care plans have fallen through, resulting in use of
a sick day (78%), falling behind on work (37%) and even losing a day’s
“The fight for talent these days is fierce, and the reality is a
majority of that talent has parenting duties in addition to their
careers,” stated Michael Marty, SVP and GM of Care@Work,
Care.com’s enterprise solution helping companies support their working
families. “For a company to compete for and retain the best talent,
which includes both moms and dads, modern companies must address
parents’ needs with family care benefits as basic table stakes. And it’s
important these benefits reflect the way today’s parents work, providing
flexible, on-demand options to meet their child care needs when, how and
where they want. In addition, companies can provide subsidized back up
child care, flexible work arrangements, or something as simple as a
working parents affinity group. It’s obvious from our survey that
employees are struggling to balance care and work, and employers need to
Child Care Gets Political.
The presidential election is just around the corner and child care has
been a hot topic. It’s clear the families who took the Care.com Cost of
Care Survey are looking to the country to make
changes in this area. When asked how child care costs makes them
feel, half of families (50%) said they wish the U.S. would take a note
from other countries and subsidize
child care. And it doesn’t stop there; if they could, 16% would even
move to a country that subsidizes child care.
2016 COST OF CARE AROUND THE COUNTRY
Annual Child Care Costs: 54% of families spend more than 10% of
their household income on child care; 1 in 5 (20%) spend a quarter of
their income on child care. 30% spend $15,000 or more per year!
National Average Weekly Rates for the following:
National Hourly Rate for a Babysitter:
About the Care.com 2016 Cost of Care Survey
The Cost of Care Survey is an annual survey to measure the relative cost
of care in the U.S. and how care impacts families’ budgets and
employment. The Care.com 2016 Cost of Care Survey captured responses
from nearly 900 parents in the United States during the months of May
and June 2016. Respondents were recruited from Care.com.
Employers can also find helpful tips on how to best support their
working families at workplace.care.com/costofcare.
Since launching in 2007, Care.com (NYSE: CRCM) has been committed to
solving the complex care challenges that impact families, caregivers,
employers, and care service companies. Today, Care.com is the world’s
largest online destination for finding and managing family care, with
11.6 million families and 9.1 million caregivers* across 18 countries,
including the U.S., UK, Canada and parts of Western Europe, and
approximately 800,000 employees of corporate clients having access to
our services. Spanning child care to senior care, pet care, housekeeping
and more, Care.com provides a sweeping array of services for families
and caregivers to find, manage and pay for care or find employment.
These include: a comprehensive suite of safety tools and resources
members may use to help make more informed hiring decisions – such as
third-party background check services, monitored messaging, and tips on
hiring best practices; easy ways for caregivers to be paid online or via
mobile app; and household payroll and tax services provided by Care.com
HomePay. Care.com builds employers customized benefits packages covering
child care, back up care and senior care consulting services through its
Care@Work business, and serves care businesses with marketing and
recruiting support. To connect families further, Care.com acquired
community platforms Big Tent and Kinsights in 2013 and 2015,
respectively. Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, Care.com has
offices in Berlin, Austin, New York City and the San Francisco Bay area.
*As of June 2016
Natalie Gerke, 781-795-7329
Public Relations Manager