The current child care system is failing families. Child care has become an economic necessity, with 65 percent of children having both parents in the workforce. Yet the annual cost for two children in center-based care is nearly $18,000 per year. This leaves many families to choose between putting a large percentage of their income toward child care; finding cheaper—and potentially unlicensed and unregulated—care; or leaving the workforce to be full-time caregivers.
Often missing from this conversation is how much it costs families when parents have to leave the workforce. The cost of care is actually much higher than just a parent’s wages. Parents who leave the workforce give up a significant amount of earning potential and retirement savings as well.
The effects of leaving the workforce to care for a child have never been fully explored. The Center for American Progress’ Early Childhood and Economic Policy teams have created a tool to calculate the cost of leaving the workforce to care for a child. The calculator shows the total financial impact, including lost retirement assets and benefits, lost wage growth, and lost wages for the years that someone spends out of the workforce.
Please join the Center for American Progress for an exclusive briefing call on this new tool detailing the hidden costs of a failing child care system.