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Monday, October 18, 2021

Child-Care Crunch and a Recession for Women

According to Bloomberg News, moms that do not hold a diploma fall behind on the ones that are educated and enjoy the privilege of rejoining the workforce. Parents throughout the United States have struggled through one and a half years with their children pursuing virtual schooling while they worked from home. As such, the daycare centers had shut down since the number of takers was few. 

Now that the schools are reopening and children return to their real classrooms, and with their parents returning to work, the child-care industry in the United States is experiencing a spike in demand suddenly. 

However, this also means that parents belonging to the lower strata of income levels are finding it difficult to bag a seat for their children since they must compete amidst the sudden spike in demand. 

Bloomberg News reports that the recession that resulted due to Covid-19 forced more than 2.1 million of the age group between 25 years and 54 years most of them having children at home to quit their jobs last year. Although half of the same workforce has resumed their work, it is being seen that the ones that have returned are the ones that have a college degree to their credit. 

Simultaneously, women without a diploma lag in the race as stated in the August report written by Didem Tuzemen, an economist associated with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. 

Those Americans that do not have a college degree are engaged in industries like hospitality, health care, education, and leisure and these are industries that are the most affected. Since these jobs demand “high contact”, people are also undecided about returning to the same. 

Bloomberg News reports that half of the country’s child-care centers brought down their shutters during the pandemic and now that they are opening, they are finding that they will not be able to operate in full capacity, a shortage of staff is one of the primary reasons. 

Approximately, 80% of the service providers in this domain have stated that they are facing a shortage of staff and have slashed recruitment. This was found out as per a survey that was conducted wherein 7500 such businesses participated in June and July according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 

Many businesses have reported that they have cut down on their spots and informed parents about the same. 

The labor crunch faced by this industry is much before the start of the pandemic. Moreover, pay at the child-care centers has always been on the lower side at $12.12 per hour. In a report that was published, the U.S Department of Treasury has written that in as many as 41 states more than 15% of the workers associated with child-care centers are below the poverty line and more than 50% bank upon public assistance programs for health insurance related to food and children. 

About 3 quarters of the service providers said that low wages were the main challenge facing the industry. The NAEYC report also states that the child-care workers have come to realize that they could make more money by working in other areas as well. 

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Josie Patra
Josie Patra is a veteran writer with 21 years of experience. She comes with multiple degrees in literature, computer applications, multimedia design, and management. She delves into a plethora of niches and offers expert guidance on finances, stock market, budgeting, marketing strategies, and such other domains. Josie has also authored books on management, productivity, and digital marketing strategies.

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