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Report finds high child care costs driving parents from workforce

A report found that cost increases might be driving some parents out of the workforce to look after their children.
Report finds high child care costs driving parents from workforce
Posted at 3:12 PM, Nov 06, 2023

Child care costs are higher than ever. But a new study shows that it’s not just weighing heavily on our wallets — it’s also changing the labor market. 

Finding a child care center isn’t easy. There’s a lot to consider — like the distance from your home, or hours of operation.  

But the biggest factor for most families today is the price. And it’s coming at a huge cost: The average family now shells out more than $700 dollars a month to cover those expenses. 

That’s a 32% jump from 2019, according to new data crunched by Bank of America. 

Calah Dean and her husband couldn’t find affordable child care for their two kids, and they weren’t eligible for financial assistance because their household income was above the $32,700 threshold in Ohio.  

"It's very difficult, you can't make too much, otherwise you're beyond that line that can I even afford to have my child in day care," said Dean.

So, she ended up leaving her job to take care of them full time. Experts say it’s a move many working parents — mainly mothers — are making.  

"This structural challenge that's really holding women back and mothers back in the workforce is affordable child care," said Jill Koziol, CEO of Motherly.  

In fact, the new data shows fewer households today are receiving two paychecks than they were in 2019. 

The data was not categorized by gender. However, we saw an estimated two million women leave the workforce once COVID-19 hit.  

The labor market has since recovered much of that loss — but if child care continues to become more expensive, it could put a lot of working women back in the same predicament, choosing one or the other. 

SEE MORE: The child care cliff: 2 states fight to keep care programs alive

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