Child care costs have sky rocketed since the beginning of COVID– 19. According to Care.com, 72 percent of families spend at a least 10 percent of their income on child care.
“Prices are going up a little bit and COVID-19 didn’t help for sure and now with gas prices going up literally everything is increasing,” said Debbie Choe, director of Small Wonders Academy in Hubbard Lake. “Finding good child care and good teachers to hire specifically at a school like ours you’re going to have to pay more unfortunately,”
Since 2019 weekly nanny rates have increased by 23 percent, and child care centers have risen by 5 percent. “I believe that parents can see the value of socializing their children with the other kids and bringing them to a larger center rather than keeping them at home with the nanny,” said Mariah Finch, owner of Great Lakes Child Care Center.
The increase of child care costs has forced working women to quit their jobs and become stay at home moms. “It is out of a lot of people’s budget unless they work fulltime or are in a two-budget household,” said Choe. “A lot of people work just so they can pay for child care and in my case that wasn’t effective, so I decided to stay home until we opened the school.”
Child care costs have increased 214 percent since 1990, and is increasing at a higher pace then ever before. “We looked at, when we were trying to decide the needs of our community, what needs we were facing around Hubbard Lake and the surrounding areas and child care was one of the number one things that we found. So how can we make that affordable and how can we meet that need that the community has,” said Pastor Joe of Small Wonders Academy.