NEW YORK – May 19, 2021 – Almost half (45%) of parents who plan to pay for summer childcare will incur credit card debt from the expenses, according to a new Bankrate.com report, with the average cost per child at $834 for the summer. Furthermore, 56% of parents with children under age 18 said they or their spouse/partner altered their work schedule or stopped working altogether, to care for their kids since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Click here for more information:
With the pandemic altering school and work situations alike, 45% of parents with kids under 18 said they or their spouse/partner altered their work schedule to take care of their children.
Meanwhile, 17% said they or their spouse/partner stopped working altogether.
Millennial parents (ages 25-40) are especially likely to have made sacrifices to their work schedules, with almost 2 in 3 (65%) indicating that they or their spouse/partner altered their work schedule or stopped working altogether (52% said they or their spouse/partner altered their work schedule and 20% said they or their spouse/partner stopped working altogether).
Parents in the West (63%) and Northeast (62%) were more likely to say they and/or their spouse or partner have changed their work schedule or stopped working than those in the Midwest (52%) and South (50%).
“Being a working parent has been especially challenging over the past year,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.com. “People who quit their jobs or scaled back their hours could experience lasting effects, including reduced wages and delayed promotions. Even as the COVID situation has improved, the vast majority of children have not yet been vaccinated, so parents are still tiptoeing around restrictions at schools, daycare facilities and summer camps.”
Meanwhile, 46% of parents with children under age 18 will pay for some form of summer childcare this year, with almost 1 in 5 (19%) of those spending in excess of $1,000 per child.
Understandably, this expense has many parents stretched too thin, with close to half (45%) opting to finance at least some of the costs over time with a credit card. Another 15% plan to put the expenditures on a credit card but pay it all off immediately, 29% will use another payment method like cash or a debit card, and 10% still don’t know how they’ll pay for it.
While summer childcare seems expensive, it pales in comparison to childcare during the school year, which averages $752 per month per child for the 46% who pay for it. That’s a total of about $7,500 across a 10-month school year per child. Still, roughly 1 in 6 (17%) will pay more than $1,000 per child each month.
“Monthly childcare costs can feel like an extra mortgage payment, especially if you live in an expensive area or have more than one kid,” Rossman added. “That helps explain why fewer than half of parents are paying for childcare. Sometimes it makes more sense for a parent to leave the workforce rather than working and putting so much of their salary towards childcare. In other cases, people are getting creative and working part-time or calling in favors from friends and relatives to supervise their kids.”
Bankrate.com commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the survey. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3,499 adults, including 718 parents with children under age 18. Fieldwork was undertaken from May 3-6, 2021. The survey was carried out online and meets rigorous quality standards. It employed a non-probability-based sample using both quotas upfront during collection and then a weighting scheme on the back end designed and proven to provide nationally representative results.