Is backup care safe? In short, yes, as long as the caregivers providing backup childcare are state-licensed daycare …
For many families, summer childcare arrangements are expensive, difficult to find or access, or don’t align with parent and guardian work schedules.
According to the WeeCare 2022 Summer Childcare survey, 68% of U.S. parents experienced challenges securing childcare for their children this summer and 66% of parents had to make job sacrifices that compromise their household income and/or job security due to a lack of childcare during summer.
It can be nearly impossible to find affordable summer programs with space, or sometimes even a functional waitlist. Based on the latest WeeCare survey conducted in June 2022, 38% of parents reported that the summer childcare they were able to find had a waitlist; and 24% of parents relying on daycare during summer were dealing with a waitlist.
WeeCare.co Survey data also indicates how much the cost of childcare keeps increasing. One in three parents (33%) reported an increased cost of childcare in comparison to last year. Of those reporting higher costs:
- 31% said their summer childcare costs increased by 6-10%
- 29% reported their summer childcare costs increased by 11-20%
- 20% shared that their summer childcare costs increased by 21-30%
- 7% relayed that their summer childcare costs increased by 31-40%
- 7% described their summer childcare costs as increasing by 50% or more
- And only 6% of parents reported a moderate 5% increase of summer childcare costs
Among parents of school-aged children:
- 32% rely on grandparents and other family members for summer childcare
- 16% depend on daycare
- 5% utilize a part-time babysitter
- 5% enroll in summer day camps;
- 21% have no childcare secured this summer
Among parents of preschoolers:
- 17% rely on grandparents and other family members for summer childcare
- 34% depend on daycare
- 8% enroll in summer day camps
- 8% utilize nannies or babysitters
- 8% have not been able to find any childcare or are still looking for it
78% of parents report that the search for summer childcare is a source of anxiety and stress. For more than 80% of parents, the cost of summer childcare is a source of anxiety and/or stress.
Surveyed parents paint a vivid picture of how these stark numbers are affecting their lives:
“It’s $1900/mo PLUS an extra $1k in August for the ‘summer program’ when daycare is closed for 2 weeks on their summer break,” reports one California family.
“Searching for childcare (not even summer childcare, just full-time regular childcare) has become my second job and has yielded nothing other than securing the fact that my husband or I will likely be leaving the workforce since the cost of hiring a nanny isn’t worth it. We will have to dip into our savings to do this, and possibly have to move,” commented another survey participant.
Employers can offer employee childcare benefits that working parents actually use.
According to the WeeCare.co 2022 survey, 93% of U.S. parents do not receive any form of childcare benefits from their employers that can be utilized to access summer childcare.
When asked about what kind of support families need to secure reliable, quality summer childcare 41% of parents reported they would benefit from financial assistance either from the government or their employers in form of childcare benefits, and 36% would like to have more spots available in local licensed childcare centers and more flexible childcare options to accommodate their schedules and family needs.