Rising Child Care Costs: The New Mom Math

New parents face an increasingly difficult decision when considering whether or not to return to work after welcoming their child into the world. The high cost of child care and lack of quality options force moms to calculate “New Mom Math” – weighing the costs and benefits of mom or dad returning to their career versus staying home with their children.

Several factors affect parents’ total compensation package after maternity or paternity leave, from take-home pay to future advancement opportunities. And when new parents evaluate their financial situations, they often weigh the benefits against three key costs incurred by returning to work:

  • Child care: One in three families spend 20 percent or more of their annual household income on child care.
  • Strict after-hours policies: Some daycares charge up to $1 per minute after 6 p.m. Yet, many industries require non-traditional business hours - like early morning shifts and extended evening hours - which can make it challenging or impossible for some working parents to find a child care provider that can accommodate their specific needs.
  • Consequential costs: There are expenses related to commuting, professional clothing, taxes and eating out.

After determining actual take-home pay, many families decide the more economical choice is to have one parent serve as the full-time caregiver or find another position that allows greater work-life balance.

Juggling personal and financial responsibilities – as well as professional advancement opportunities – can be continually challenging for working parents, even as children get older. In fact, only 53 percent of moms with elementary-age children are employed full time. Women also continue to have children later in life, which means leaving relatively senior-level positions that are costly and difficult for employers to fill.

In these situations, businesses have the most to lose: they forfeit top talent and foot the bill of finding and training a replacement. However, the lack of flexible, affordable child care options also creates an opportunity for employers to offer employer-sponsored child care as a point of differentiation.

Nearly 80 percent of working parents say it’s important for the business community to lead the way when it comes to providing access to quality and affordable child care. Additionally, the majority would view their employer more favorably for investing in child care and would be more likely to continue their education and work more hours. 

By providing on-site child care for employees, companies can change the equation when it comes to “New Mom Math.” Working parents can benefit from the flexibility, security and peace of mind knowing their children are close by and cared for, while employers can experience improved retention, since access to reliable child care can reduce employee turnover by 60 percent

At Primrose Schools®, we understand that employees and employers have unique needs. Through Primrose on PremiseSM, our employer-sponsored business extension, we bring a tailored, flexible approach to each company and leverage the expertise of our dedicated local leadership and Support Team to position each on-site child care location for success.

By working with Primrose on Premise, employers can offer a high-quality child care option to employees – empowering them to excel in their careers while fully enjoying the adventures of parenthood.   

To learn more about how to bring Primrose on Premise to your employees, please contact our team.