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The Pros and Cons of Professional Childcare: A Guide for Caregivers and Parents

There is absolutely no doubt that the first few years of a child’s development quite significantly impact his/her academic as well as social capabilities. As important as childcare has become as a parenting tool, it has also become significantly big as a business.

But is it a good thing?

You might be wondering if the growth of childcare as a field in terms of both, a parenting tool and a business is a good or a bad sign. Well, it’s both.

With the childcare business booming, people are getting more and more burdened by the enormous amounts of expenses; in America alone, fees for childcare has increased by more than 52% in the past decade compared with just a rise of 17% in overall earnings. This, in turn is causing people to rethink about all expenditures they have to bear as parents.

Did you know?

The biggest reason why young adults in the United States of America are having fewer children than their ideal number is that childcare is too expensive to afford a good lifestyle. The Morning Consult Survey of 1858 men and women aged between 20 and 45 found out that 64% of people are reconsidering having more children because of childcare being too costly.

But there’s another side to it.

On the flip side, childcare also serves as a great contributor to the economy of the US, even though ‘childcare deserts’ still prevail. A report submitted by the Committee for Economic Development in Aug 2015: Childcare in State Economies, found that childcare facilities throughout the US contribute around $41.5 billion to the country, employing 873,251 people.  

 

Why Is There a Need For Childcare?

Little happy minds make the brightest fortunes. And I’m not just saying that. In an intensive study that lasted for 20 years to record the impact of childcare on the development of children starting from 1991 up until 2011, it was found that children who were a part of good quality to moderate childcares were 4 and a half times more likely to have higher academic achievement.

And that is not the only reason.

Apart from childcare being inclined to have positive impacts on child development, there are plenty of other reasons why it’s more a need than a want. In recent years, the number of women in the workforce has considerably increased. Today, around 47% of the workforce in the UK are women (Labour market statistics). Moreover, in the US, women contribute to 44% of the family’s income on average and 26% of working women earn at least 10% more than their better halves (see: Huffington Post). This obviously means that the traditional meaning of motherhood has evolved; women are no longer entitled only to be stay-at-home moms which call for better childrearing facilities.

The economy can be a challenge.

With recessions hitting and prices increasing every now and then, both parents working is more of a requirement than a woman’s personal choice to have a career.  When both parents work full-time, it’s a challenge to look after kids. This is yet another reason why childcare has become more needed than ever before.

Fun fact!

Having more women in the workforce may even result in a lesser chance of recession. An average woman takes fewer risky decisions in life than an average man. Who knows if having women in professional roles could significantly decrease all economy issues? Think about it. (See: Evolutionary Psychology)

Interestingly, the childcare sector plays an important role in employment and careers too. The sector is most known for working hour flexibility, new and various sorts of experiences and very decent salaries, as the roles require a certain level of expertise.

Summing up, here’s why we childcare is so important to have.

  1. Quality childcare is proved to have positive effects on the nurturing and fortunes of children as they grow.
  2. Women have become more career-oriented than ever before, which calls for good quality nurturing while mothers are at work.
  3. The economic fluctuations sometimes call for both parents to be working, which leaves them no option but childcare institutions.
  4. The sector itself attracts a lot of people for better job opportunities and good salaries.

The Challenges Childcare Faces

As important as this sector is, it is bound to face some problems. From being unaffordable at some places to being of less quality at others, there are challenges along the way.

With the privatisation of childcare institutions, the prices have reached an all-time high especially in metropolitan cities where the percentage of workforce is more. The private sector in the UK accounts for a huge 84% of the childcare for children aged three or less today. In fact, the Childcare Legislation, 2006 mentions clearly that local councils need not worry about providing childcare services if it could be dealt with by the open market.  

Despite of high prices, there’s still lack of childcare centres.

The lack of childcare institutions is a huge concern for contemplation in the US. Below is a researched map of ‘childcare deserts’ by state, in America.

While this is not much of a problem in the UK, the US government is trying to address this issue.

licensed or registered child care providers in usa
Source: Americanprogress.org

What is rather astonishing is that if mothers choose to do a job while they leave their children at childcares, they might end up being worse off!

This I believe, by far, remains to be the fiercest challenge for childcare, especially in the UK. According to the Family and Childcare trust, sending a child lesser than the age of 2 to a nursery in London is more than 70% higher as compared to north-west England. Due to this factor, a lot of mid-career women have to abandon their jobs to become stay-at-home moms. In the long run, not only does this cost career-oriented women a huge loss but it also costs the country huge sums of money to invest in newer talent each time.

 

child care customers cost survey in UK
                                    

In short, the two main challenges faced by the childcare sector are higher prices and lesser availability of good quality institutions, which is not something that can’t be fixed.

So To Conclude?

While the governments work to solve the issues of lack of quality childcare institutions and provisions to improve the existing ones that cost less but don’t meet required standards, the private sector is also keen to work for improvement.

Although the challenges are there, there still are more pros than cons of professional childcare as in retrospect, we saw how important its existence and prevalence is.

According to the Department of Education, UK, there were 3.1 million Ofsted registered childcare places in England alone by 2016. The number is huge and yet the local authorities in England report that there is not enough care available according to the Childcare Survey 2017. This means that there ought to be various opportunities in this sector for employment in the coming years.

Moreover, apart from being flexible in hours and paying relatively high than other professions (if you’re well-qualified), childcare offers diversified and specialised job roles that may open further career opportunities. That being said, in order to cater to the existing challenges the sector faces and to increase one’s own employment chances, considerable thought has to be given to the idea of professional childcare training courses and diplomas.

Consider this.

I’d advise you to do your research before you choose to take up training. Here’s a list of courses that I recommend if you are looking to study childcare online:

Online Child Care Short Courses with Certifications Diploma in Caring For Children and Young People – Level 2 Childcare Course Bundle Mastering Childcare with Nutrition Nannying and Childcare Training

Apart from making childcare your career option, what is amazing about enrolling in childcare courses and accredited certifications online is that you can use them to start learning from home. If you are a stay-at-home mom, looking for guidance, you won’t find better guidance than this. You can start learning at a time that suits you best so you don’t need to fret about your children either! These courses may actually be more beneficent and help you with motherhood than you would think. Have a look and let me know how you found the blog. Cheers! ☺

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