Affordable Child Care

For working parents, finding high-quality, affordable child care they can rely on can be a challenge. Whether you’re a new mom coming back to work after maternity leave, a new dad returning to the office, you just moved to the area, or you’re hoping to find a program that will help your child get ready for school, you deserve to find care that fits your budget, lifestyle, and needs.

Children playing in Early Learning Center

According to the Bright Horizons Modern Family Index, 92% of expectant mothers report that they plan to return to work once they finish maternity leave — and they intend to be as committed to their work as they were prior to having their baby.

But according to data gathered from the National Survey of Children’s Health, in 2016 alone, over two million parents had to drastically change or quit their job, or decline a job offer due to problems with child care.

Since then, finding daycare or other types of affordable child care has only gotten more difficult. And the pandemic only exacerbated the problem. Child care challenges continue to be a barrier for parents trying to start or continue their careers — especially mothers.

Why Affordable Child Care Matters to the Workforce

What employers and companies must consider is that this doesn’t merely affect parents on an individual level.

Rather, child care has become a national crisis. Without licensed, trustworthy care available for parents, the workforce takes a hit. Just how much can affordable child care affect the workforce? Let’s take a look.

Almost 70% of young children under 6 had both or all available parents in the workforce in 2019, according to Kids Count Data Center from The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Half of U.S. families find it difficult to find child care.

Countless other reports and points of data shed light on the fact that child care is the biggest stressor for the global workforce. Mothers, especially, are less likely to be employed if they’re unable to find a reliable early learning center or child care program.

American businesses lose billions annually in absenteeism; employees who face child care challenges are less productive. And, across the nation, mothers are held back from advancing their careers or increasing their earnings due to a lack of convenient and affordable child care.

Talented, skilled, and irreplaceable working parents deserve a solution.

Change is Coming

The days of moms staying home while dads head off to work are long gone. Now, both parents can be breadwinners — as long as they have child care to support their work days. The modern workforce urges employers to get involved in child and dependent care for their employees. Why? Because it can boost employee productivity, reduce turnover, and increase employee engagement and satisfaction.

This doesn’t just mean providing affordable child care, though. Back up daycare, back-to-work programs for new parents, and more are all helpful employer-sponsored child care options.

Corporate child care — an affordable child care option for employees — is becoming far more mainstream, and plenty of employers are picking up the torch. These companies are on the ground floor of a more efficient, family-first workforce, and it’ll help them retain precious veteran talent, improve overall productivity, and more.

Be sure to ask about the child care benefits offered through your employer.

The Future of Affordable Child Care

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light just how vital child care is for the future of America. In at least 28 states and DC, one year of infant care can cost the same as one year at a four-year public college. A lack of affordable child care means it’s not cost-effective for both parents to work, and this creates an echo of gaps across the national workforce.

Access to affordable child care options in the U.S. will allow parents — especially mothers — to rejoin the workforce, pursue their education, start businesses, and more — all boons for the economy.

Additionally, employers can offer benefits such as back-up child care, drop-in day care, and back-to-work programs for new parents.

Parents deserve to find a balance between their work and home life. We look forward to a future where affordable child care is easily accessible to working families.

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT EARLY LEARNING CENTERS?

What is the purpose of early learning centers?

An early learning center is a designated program where students are given interesting and exciting educational opportunities. Early learning centers are often filled with art materials, instructional toys, manipulatives, books, and more to help engage and stimulate students’ minds.

Is early learning the same as preschool?

Early learning extends past preschool, but it certainly includes the preschool years. The term “early learning” is rather broad, and can describe any form of educational program a young child (ages 0 – 8) may experience.

Can I put my 3-year-old in preschool?

Are you wondering what age a child should go to preschool? Is 3 years old too early? If they turn 4 before a certain point in the school year, are they still eligible to attend? Discuss your child’s birthday and their preschool possibilities with the early learning centers and preschool programs in your area.

What is considered early learning?

Early learning — or early education — refers to education for children ages 0 – 8. Early learning starts on day one, but an early learning center or a daycare center can help expand your child’s knowledge and offer enriching experiences. 

At what age is kindergarten?

Typically, a child must be 5 years old by late summer or early fall in order to enroll in kindergarten for the coming school year. The exact cut-off date varies by state, so be sure to check on age requirements in your area.
mother holding child

Get Started Today

Find a center near you to get started with Bright Horizons

Or call us to start the conversation 877-624-4532

Bright Horizons is a United States–based child-care provider and is the largest provider of employer-sponsored child care. Employees looking to become a child care teacher are offered the opportunity to earn an early education degree for free as part of their corporate benefits. Search by zip to find a child care center near you. Bright Horizons Global Headquarters are in Newton, Massachusetts, USA.