4 Reasons Affordable Childcare Is Necessary for the Economy
Affordable childcare is essential to economic growth and recovery. Many people, especially single people, do not realize the effects of childcare costs on the individual and the nation. Childcare is the backbone of successful infrastructure, especially regarding enterprise and innovation. Also, childcare is essential for parents who want to pursue career, academic, and financial possibilities.
Without affordable childcare, the country experiences an unstable workforce and an unpredictable consumer base. If you are unsure why childcare is so important to the economy and government, experts provide four reasons.
1. Increases Spending Power
Comprehensive childcare can stimulate economic growth by reducing a family's out-of-pocket expenses. The average cost of childcare in the U.S. is over $10,000 per year, about one-sixth of the average family income and about 35% of a low-income family.
With rising childcare costs, families have less income to spend on local services or goods. If people conserve money to cover childcare costs, businesses will have less to invest in growth and R&D.
Affordable childcare will put more money in families' pockets, allowing for more spending in the marketplace. The more money families can put back into their communities, the better local economies will be, which automatically affects the national economy.
2. Reduces Worker Turnover
Many parents give up careers or change positions to accommodate having and taking care of a child. By leaving current positions or changing professional responsibilities, parents can mitigate childcare expenses.
A business will pay up to two times an employee's salary on a replacement for workers who leave or alter schedules to lessen childcare costs. Annual corporate costs of employee turnover drain operational budgets and strain production rates.
Comprehensive and affordable childcare will allow parents to maintain their careers, reducing worker turnover and stabilizing the workforce. Federal and state governments offer tax credits, grant programs, and other incentives for employers that establish on-site childcare programs because of the economic importance of such programs. Studies also show that working for companies with daycare programs improves employee morale and job satisfaction.
3. Encourages Women To Participate in Labor Force
While society encourages both men and women to take active roles in child rearing, statistics show women are often the ones giving up their academic and career goals to help offset household childcare costs. According to 2016 reports, parents regularly leave their jobs for less demanding positions to care for their children, roughly 75% of mothers and 50% of fathers.
Childcare shapes parents' job decisions. Without access to affordable care, the workforce loses capable and educated individuals. Improving access to the childcare sector means encouraging more parents, especially women, to stay in current positions and maintain active roles in companies. Labor force participation is also crucial to economic success and progress.
4. Boosts Productive Capacity by Supporting Mental Well-Being
Without stable childcare arrangements, many parents struggle with their mental well-being. The unpredictability of care causes stress and can interfere with focus and productivity.
Improving access and affordability of childcare stabilizes the system. Predictability helps relieve parental stress, allowing parents to focus on their work and encouraging greater productivity.
Childcare might not seem like an economic recovery vehicle, but it is. Affordable and accessible care means parents can focus on work, employers can maintain workforces, and money flows into the economy.