Moving out of the Childcare Crisis
The childcare crisis affects each and every one of us. Even those of us who do not have children. Unfortunately, we have been living in this crisis mode for so long that many are numb to it and the way it affects our families, childcare providers and economy. Therefore, I invite you to join me in exploring ways in which we can move out of the childcare crisis and on to greener pastures.
It isn’t a surprise that 72% of working parents report their work day has been impacted by childcare falling through.
- On a macro level, that wildly impacts the productivity of our country as a whole.
- On a micro level, it affects your everyday life more than you might realize.
- Your customer service wait time is so much longer because a rep called off. Their babysitter was a no-show for the third time this month. The high quality nanny that they really wanted to hire just wasn’t in the budget
- Your day is a little harder when you have to pull the weight of your co-worker who had to stay home from work with their toddler. She caught head lice from daycare and now can’t attend daycare because of her lice. Now that’s a head scratcher for ya…
But these are all minor examples.
Most Importantly, the Childcare Crisis Affects:
- Families and impacts our children’s development
- Childcare workers like professional nannies
- Our government and economy
It is essential to see where we are before we can head towards our destination.
The Family’s Crisis
- Real wages are falling. The average middle-class family used to be able to thrive on a single paycheck. Now most households can barely keep afloat with both parents working outside of the home. Childcare costs have risen so much that it is no longer affordable for 7 out of 10 families causing many families to go into debt.
- They are told “having a nanny is a luxury, not a necessity.” However, average middle-income families are comprised of shift workers like police officers, nurses, hospitality and restaurant managers. Daycare hours do not always accommodate middle-income work schedules- so like it or not, middle-income family’s are now the employers of nannies… or babysitters.
- They wonder if they call them a babysitter, will it be more affordable? Babysitter, nanny, daycare: it doesn’t matter… Childcare costs more than college tuition!
The Nanny’s Crisis
- The nanny profession is primarily comprised of marginalized women and minorities. More than half of childcare workers are living at poverty level. They are women trying to enterprise their skills and strengths, yet their giving nature is often taken advantage of.
- Nannies do not enter into the childcare profession for the glitz, glamor and love of money. They do it because they love working with children. But love doesn’t pay rent- they need to earn a living wage. Childcare professionals are paid less than dog-walkers and jaintors!
- Ironically, nannies are hired to focus on fostering growth and development of children but then are often also expected to walk the dog and clean the toilets! Knowing dog walkers and janitors make more than they do understandably leaves many disgruntled.
The Government’s & Our Economy’s Crisis
- Since families are looking to curb costs anyway they can and nannies are looking to take home as much as they can, neither want to share with Uncle Sam.
- It is estimated that there is only a 5% nanny tax filing compliance rate. The government loses out on billions of dollars of unpaid taxes.
- Our economy slows when families do not have access to affordable quality childcare. Without quality childcare coverage, parents cannot attend work. When they cannot work there is a greater chance they will lean on the government for public aid and subsidies.
There is no denying it- we are in a dismal state.
Do you want to be part of the problem or the solution?
As John Maxwell says, “there are winners and there are whiners”. Are we just going to keep complaining about the dire state or are we going to do what we can to create change?
I am fairly certain that most don’t recognize the ways in which they are perpetuating the problem.
It’s time to wake up! We have to be more socially conscious and responsible. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
The problem is multi-layered. We won’t dissect every component in this article but since this article goes out to families and nannies, we’ll place our focus there.
Low quality job positions are not going to encourage high quality care. If families need childcare in their home but cannot afford to pay a nanny’s salary (including taxes), they should consider nanny sharing to curb the cost while paying the nanny more than they can afford on their own.
Paying or accepting cash devalues the childcare industry and childcare providers.
Be responsible to yourself and your community. By paying “under-the-table”, you may have a few more dollars in your pocket, but it costs us all so much more than you save.
- When families pay cash rather than professionally, they rob our cherished childcare providers of opportunities a legitimate work history affords.
- When nannies accept cash pay rather than insist on being paid professionally, they undermine themselves and their peers in the industry.
It goes down in a myriad of ways.
- We often hear that families insist on paying cash but it isn’t uncommon to hear nannies say they prefer cash pay or “either way is fine”.
- Some nannies feel coerced into accepting cash. Sadly, many submit to being paid unprofessionally because they are desperate for work.
The solution is just as multi-layered as the problem.
All you need to do is focus on doing your part.
Don’t succumb to the temptation of playing the blame game. We’ve been down that path. It is a dead end. That path fails us. It fails families. It fails nannies. It fails our economy. Most importantly, it fails our children and their future.
The way out is up. Going up is going to be a climb. The path may be less traveled, but we have guides to help us. Join us on our journey.
Via The Village’s mission is to grow childcare networks so families can find trusted, quality childcare with ways to make it more affordable. We nurture quality care by empowering the nanny profession & enable ways to earn higher wages.
In conclusion, I invite you to join us on our mission through membership of our website, being a part of our team, investing, volunteering or simply by reading the next post coming soon: Elevating the Childcare Industry -Part 2. We ask for guidance on professional pay and nanny taxes from HomeWork Solutions!
We go beyond connecting families, nannies, and nanny shares- we invite you to find community!