Over the past 40 years, American parenting culture has undergone a great change. Today, fewer than one in three children have a full-time, stay-at-home parent, while in 1975, only a generation ago, more than half of all children had a stay-at-home parent, usually the mother.
That has led to the rise of the organized childcare arrangement. Almost 25% of children under the age of five are involved in one and parts of the arrangement include a daycare service, nurseries, and preschools.
Whether they contribute more or less than the stay at home parent model, organized child care arrangements can substantially benefit children, particularly at-risk youth. These statistics show the value:
- 25% of at-risk children are more likely to drop out of high school if they do not get a quality preschool education.
- They are 40% more likely to be a teen parent.
- They are 60% more likely to not go to college.
- They are 70% more likely to be arrested for committing a violent crime.
The parallels between organized childcare arrangements and brain development are not hard to draw. 700 new neural connections are formed every second during the early years of a child?s life. The early years are defined as the first few years of a life of a child.
A child?s brain develops fast and correct care and nurturing can help it develop in areas that may be beneficial down the road. The return on investment for each child who attends preschool programs is between $2 and $4 for every single dollar. This means that each year?s preschool cohort has a ROI of up to $150 billion over their cumulative lifetimes.
A daycare service offers opportunities that parents may not have the time to take on. For instance, reading aloud?which is a crucial activity for brain development?only occurs routinely in 50% of the households of infants and toddlers. And it?s not just day care centers either.
Only 10.2 million children are in after school programs, but the parents of 19.4 million children say their children would participate in an after school program if one were available. This is not an uncommon line of thought amidst parents when it comes to child care. More than two-thirds of Americans agree that government or businesses should do more to fund child care for working parents.
The effects may be skewed to those who have a lower gross income than others. A Pew Research Center report found that families earning less than $18,000 annually spend about 40% of their income on childcare, compared to 7.2% of income for all families.
Organized child care arrangements, as through a child care service or child care center, benefit those involved, according to statistics. While there has been a certain shift in the culture away from the stay at home parent, children benefit short-term and long-term from an organized child care arrangement, especially those considered at-risk. A daycare service provides additional options for parents.