At a time when the unemployment rate is the highest it's been in 26 years, they're feeling the stress. It's not only the expense of finding high quality, experienced caregivers, but also the inescapable codependency that links care arrangements to employment.
Waltham, MA (PRWEB) July 14, 2009
According the State of Care Index™--a quarterly report presented by Care.com (http://www.care.com)--released today, child care now consumes 14% of the average family's annual income each year. As Americans begin a seventh consecutive quarter of recession, over half of parents and two-thirds of adults providing care for elderly family members are worried the falling economy will force them to make decisions that negatively impact the quality of their care arrangements.
The survey reports child care costs an average of $12,445 per year for a family with two children. That figure nearly doubles the average annual cost of tuition at a public university--$6,585 a year, according to the College Board. Despite the high cost of child care, the survey found amidst overall economic worries, families are primarily concerned with safety, training and experience of providers when they make care arrangements for their children.
The State of Care Index also reports on the elder care expenses of families contributing to the care arrangements for senor relatives. Over half surveyed (58 percent) say their elderly loved ones do not have enough savings or income to support their own needs and have to rely on assistance from other resources.
And it is even more difficult for the 18 percent of families who are caught in between caring for children and the elderly--the so-called "Sandwich Generation". Households that have the financial burden of supporting their children and providing elder care for loved ones pay $16,457 annually (19 percent of their yearly income) to cover the costs of care providers.
"On top of all the often-reported economic pressures, the State of Care Index shows that families are also faced with a heavy financial burden of child and senior care expenses," says Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder and CEO of Care.com. "At a time when the unemployment rate is the highest it's been in 26 years, they're feeling the stress. It's not only the expense of finding high quality, experienced caregivers, but also the inescapable codependency that links care arrangements to employment."
Employment has a huge impact on caregiving and vice versa, as shown in the study's results. Within the past year 82 percent of parents and 64 percent of adults caring for elderly relatives have taken time off from work to solve a "care crisis"--when a child or senior falls ill, a care center closes or work schedules change. Parents especially struggle to balance their caregiving responsibilities with their careers with 85 percent of all changes they made to their child care arrangements coming as the direct result of a change in employment.
Care.com, the premier source of trustworthy care options for families, released of the State of Care Index™ in cooperation with the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) in July 2009. The first survey of its kind, the Index is a quarterly snapshot of families' attitudes towards caregiving. The inaugural State of Care Index addresses the unique pressures families face from the cost and obligation of providing child care and senior care and how these responsibilities impact their daily lives. To read the full report, please visit http://www.care.com/stateofcare.
In May 2009, Care.com surveyed a random sample of its nationwide membership base as well as the families in NACCRRA's Child Care Aware Parent Network. The survey was conducted online and received 1,297 responses.
Founded in 2006, Care.com is the largest and fastest growing service used by families to find high-quality caregivers, providing a trusted place to easily connect, share caregiving experiences and get advice. The company addresses the unique lifecycle of care needs that each family goes through: child care, special needs care, tutoring and lessons, senior care, pet care, housekeeping and more. The service helps families find and select the best care possible based on detailed profiles, background checks and references for hundreds of thousands of mom-reviewed providers who seek to share their services. Through its Care.com for Recruiters service, Care.com also enables companies to find high-quality caregiving employees.
For more information, visit http://www.care.com.