Working parents have enough to worry about — finding quality child care should be the last of their concerns. But in today’s society, it’s the most difficult part of staying in the workforce. And leaving careers, even for the short term, comes with serious implications that range from a lag in mastering new technology to a 7% wage penalty upon returning. How can we make a broad scale impact on childcare availability for working parents? Creating and supporting small preschools and in-home family care providers has proven to be the most effective answer.
Though often thought of as a global leader in many areas, the United States falls behind other wealthy countries when it comes to childcare. In fact, the US has the lowest percentage of working mothers when set alongside Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
On a government level, this could potentially be linked to the lower financial contribution we provide to the early childhood education and care industry.
From a different angle, though still related to financial contributions, we can aim direct blame at the lack of quality childcare providers in our midst. There are not enough spots for the children of parents who desire to return to the workforce.
Some of the spaces were shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic, when childcare business expenses skyrocketed and working families pulled students for health-related reasons at the same time. In fact, more than two-thirds of working parent families were forced to change childcare providers due to closures, lack of space, rises in operating costs/tuition, and more.
Other required spaces never existed, as childcare has been an ongoing, but under addressed issue in our country for too long to track.
The US Chamber Foundation states, “Parents rely on child care to help them enter, re-enter, or remain in the workforce, but access to affordable, quality childcare is hard to come by.”
With all of these negative forces impacting working parents in the United States, it’s time we put our efforts and resources toward supporting childcare today.
The solution to solving working parents’ child care challenges must include opening more childcare businesses with safe and high-quality programming, along with sustainable business models. In the past, efforts have traditionally gone toward early childhood programs and child care centers. But we have witnessed firsthand that the real power lies in supporting family daycares.
Why? Because the startup costs are lower, the willing providers are plentiful, and the profits for workers are higher. At the same time, family child cares provide the lowest-cost care for moms and dads.
The best family child cares are safe, offer high-quality preschool curriculums, and follow all ratio and licensing guidelines required by their state. They provide a close-knit feel for students, low child-to-provider ratios, healthy meals, and plenty of outdoor time. They provide significantly better income for owners than center-based teaching positions, and can therefore stimulate the economy more effectively than new center openings. The benefits are endless for communities as a whole.
At Wonderschool, we increase childcare capacity in the United States by building a pipeline of new, high-quality in-home child cares in the areas they’re needed most. We offer 1:1 childcare business support combined with a thorough childcare marketplace to support both providers and working parents. Our program creation also includes curriculum development, communication building, and other high level skills providers need to operate quality programs.
We aim to increase provider profitability, promote employment in the childcare space, improve the quality of care, and use data to allocate funds efficiently. We also help our providers to offer government-subsidized care.
Whether you are searching for a way to better childcare in your state as a decision maker, or want to help your employees with children return to work as a business owner, you’ve come to the right place. Wonderschool is always open to partnerships that help create adequate child care capacity for all working parents in the United States. To get the conversation started, simply contact us today. We’re looking forward to piling our efforts and resources to make a larger impact on childcare for working parents than either of us could on our own.
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