7/9/19

How Affordable Daycare Helps Single Parents Balance Career and Family


By on 7/09/2019 07:49:00 AM

While plenty of single parents have found ways to manage both their careers and personal lives, other single parents continue to struggle to find a balance. On one hand, a single mom or dad has to perform all parental tasks traditionally delegated to two people. On the other hand, they also have to find time to find a job and provide for themselves and their child. As a result, some parents struggle to find a well-paying job to provide for their kids or have to be apart from their kids for long periods of time while their children stay with trusted relatives.


Photo credits from: Sai De Silva (https://unsplash.com/photos/4-gFGb12hFA)

Parents – single or married – experience the difficulty balancing work with childcare, which is why many companies have tried to provide daycare services to make it easier for their employees. While it does help parents who cannot find someone to supervise their children every day they go to work, it particularly helps single parents who struggle to balance out their career and parenting. Single Parents Have Limited Choices Aside from having the responsibility of providing the love, guidance, and other skills two parents provide their kids, a single parent has very limited options when it comes to balancing work and parenting. In a dual-parent setting, one parent may be willing to sacrifice their career and become a stay-at-home parent while the other (usually the one who earns more) becomes the breadwinner who provides the income). However, thanks to inflation, it is common for both parents to work as one parent’s salary may not be enough to provide for their family.
 
Single Parents Have Limited Choices


Aside from having the responsibility of providing the love, guidance, and other skills two parents provide their kids, a single parent has very limited options when it comes to balancing work and parenting. In a dual-parent setting, one parent may be willing to sacrifice their career and become a stay-at-home parent while the other (usually the one who earns more) becomes the breadwinner who provides the income). However, thanks to inflation, it is common for both parents to work as one parent’s salary may not be enough to provide for their family.


Photo credits from: Steven Van Loy (https://unsplash.com/photos/oUhSla4L_98)

A second option is for parents to pay for daycare or a nanny. Parents who earn more than the average salary can afford to pay without any company or government subsidies. For some, it helps to give their children both early learning and child care before they have to send their children to formal schooling, while some prefer the safety and security of having someone to supervise at home. However, if you’re a single parent, the cost of out-of-pocket daycare expenses can be too high. For low-income families where both parents are earning, the average cost of this options takes up almost 36 percent of their monthly income; for a single parent with one source of income, the option of daycare is limited to how much they alone earn.

That leaves the final option of looking for government-sponsored daycare. For low-income families and single parents, the option of daycare is out of reach because of financial concerns. However, government-run daycare and daycares supported by government funding make it more affordable for parents. Unfortunately, this option isn’t available for all locations and some parents may not meet the requirements to avail these subsidies.

Expensive Daycares Are Out of a Single Parent’s Reach

Statistics show that the higher the childcare costs, the less likely a single parent would be able to afford it. That’s not to say that all single parents cannot strive for high-paying jobs, but young parents with little to job experience, have low income, and have young children are likely to struggle when they begin looking for better job prospects. However, looking for affordable daycare is difficult, thus single parents are less likely to find better paying jobs because they cannot find affordable daycare or any other childcare service. In fact, one in four parents lost job offers or were forced to quit their jobs because they couldn’t find proper childcare services.


Photo credits from: Ostap Senyuk (https://unsplash.com/photos/k1Ic9QFdSF4)

And assuming they do find a job, lacking in childcare services can make the job harder to keep. In places like New York City where there are relatively more jobs available, 20 percent of parents have poor attendance records because of childcare.

Affordable daycare, however, can change that. When taking care of their children is no longer a problem, single parents are capable of performing much better in the workplace. Not only can they become valuable employees, they can also find better-paying jobs which can increase their income and provide a better life for themselves and their children. They are also more likely to stay longer in employment for over two years compared to those who are struggling to find childcare.

Daycares Help Educate Children at a Young Age

Young children raised in a household with dual parents have the academic advantage to excel in school because they’re taught at a young age. This is compared to single parents who have less time to focus their attention on their own children. Today, most daycares are set up similar to a preschool so that children learn while they are entertained throughout the day.


Photo credits from: Tanaphong Toochinda (https://unsplash.com/photos/GagC07wVvck)

Studies have proven that daycares that focus on learning tend to create children with better cognitive function and are more likely to achieve when they attend school. Out of 1,300 teenagers observed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, 90 percent of these high-performing students had been cared for by someone outside the family before they turned four years old.

Daycare not only helps single parents improve their careers and pave the way towards better-paying jobs, it also helps their children academically. Because not all single parents can afford the cost of traditional daycare, affordable daycare can improve employee productivity as well as the future of students who have struggling single parents.

About Angela

Angela is a freelance travel writer and lifestyle blogger, blessed with 3 beautiful daughters, 5 moody cats, 1 spoiled dog, and 1 very supportive husband.

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