Parents pulling kids from daycare because of finances

Filed under: Work Life, In The News

preschool classThe economy is hitting families every which way, and the latest casualty is childcare. According to the Associated Press, some parents are pulling kids from daycare because they can no longer foot the bill.

The article cites one center in Rockford, Ill., a small city two hours northwest of Chicago. Parents are taking their kids out altogether, or reducing the number of days their kids attend, because the number of hours they work has been cut back.

Instead, parents are relying more on relatives and grandparents, or, in some extreme cases, quitting their jobs because their paycheck is less than their daycare costs. Kids on both sides suffer, say childcare workers -- those pulled out are confused and upset by the change in routine, and those left behind "act out" more due to the abrupt loss of their playmates.

It's just one more way the financial crisis is taking its toll on American working families.

My daughter attends a cooperative nursery school three mornings a week, and working in the classroom gives parents a break on tuition. Because I work as a freelance writer, I can't be in the classroom -- and that means I pay a much higher bill every month. At the same time, I pay a college student $10 an hour to stay with the baby while my daughter is in school.

It adds up, people. To the point where I am questioning the profit margin on the few gigs I still have. If I lose one or more of my clients, I'll have to nix the sitter and start wiping noses and handing out snacks at preschool, leaving me to finish my work late at night when the kids are in bed.

Has the economy changed your childcare situation? Why or why not?

Where are you cutting back the most?
Eating out - no more restaurants.65 (16.6%)
Driving - we're staying home.11 (2.8%)
Clothes - no new anything.36 (9.2%)
Everything. Of course.279 (71.4%)

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.