Working Mothers Carry the Burden of Inconsistent Child Care

$2.4 Billion: The Annual Cost of PA’s Child Care Crisis for Working Mothers” is a new report from the nonprofit ReadyNation that looks specifically at the economic impact of PA’s working mothers’ struggles with gaps in our child care system.

The report, based on a survey of more than 300 PA working mothers and related economic analysis, shows an annual economic cost of $2.4 billion in lost earnings, productivity, and tax revenue.

The $2.4 billion economic loss only accounts for working mothers’ struggles with child care – the economic cost of both working mothers and fathers dealing with gaps in our child care system is $6.65 billion annually

According to the report, the vast majority of child care responsibility still falls on mothers – therefore, work disruptions, career barriers and financial burdens caused by inadequate child care are greater for working moms as a percentage of earnings than all working parents.

This is apparent when reviewing the survey responses contained in this report – especially for single mothers. Roughly 60 percent of working mothers surveyed said that gaps in child care have caused them to miss days of work, be late for work or be distracted to the point of being unproductive. Sixty percent have also said they had to turn down a job offer due to problems with child care. Nearly 20 percent of single mothers have even been fired because of inadequate child care.

The report makes the case that high-quality and reliable child care is something that is critical to the modern-day workforce. When parents don’t have it, their work suffers, their productivity plummets, and they have difficulty advancing in their careers. This harms our state’s businesses and our overall economy.