The National Women’s Law Center shows that high childcare costs are keeping women from reentering the workforce.
Since the onset of the pandemic, women have been forced to leave the workforce in droves to take over childcare responsibilities. However, childcare costs have now soared to 31% of the average income for women, meaning it is cheaper for mothers to handle this role on their own.
“That’s a third of her income just to child care,” said Donna Ginther, Professor at the University of Kansas. “It’s costing more than it makes sense for a lot of women to be able to work.”
Childcare costs are growing in part due to scarcity, with many child care centers in the US closing since the beginning of the pandemic. In fact, around three-fourths of counties in Kansas are considered “child care deserts” now.
With no safe place for children to be cared for, mothers have little to no option but to stay home.
The US is infamously known for its lack of childcare support, with many mothers unable to afford access to daycares, Pre-K, and more.
However, companies can provide a lifeline for these professionals by offering their own in-house childcare services or flexible work policies that make it easier for working mothers to balance their work and home responsibilities.