Surveys consistently find that the majority of mothers want to work, but affordable, quality child care is cited as the No. 1 reason they stay out of the workforce.
A quick glance at the figures, and it is easy to see why. By some figures, child care costs more than a college education, and a report by the Economic Policy Institute highlights the ballooning child care expenses, which exceed college costs in many states. For an average-income two-parent household in Tampa, Fla., with two kids, an infant and a 4-year-old, child care would cost 22 percent of household income. In Chicago, that figure is 28 percent.
On this episode, guest Jennifer Owen, editorial director of Working Mother Media, and director of the Working Mother Research Institute, discusses creative and practical ways to navigate child care. Here are some of her tips:
- Brainstorm with friends and other parents in your community about creative, cooperative solutions to childcare challenges.
- Research after-school and summer options at area park services, YMCA, community centers, and houses of worship.
- If you or your partner decides to stay home, make sure you maintain your skills, network and earning potential.
Read more about the challenges of expensive child care, here.
This is a special episode from the Working Moms Mean Business series, brought to you in partnership with BBVA Compass. I am so proud to be part of this project that explores the triumphs and challenges of professional moms (after all, 70 percent of moms with children under age 18 work!).
Read or download the free (mega) book written by me:Free from Guilt: Why Moms Have it, and How to Conquer It,which is all about why so many of us struggle with being working moms, even though most of us need to work to live, and science says kids, families, marriage, society and moms thrive when we work.