Childcare Challenges (2023)

The current childcare dilemma is two-pronged. First,childcare facilities are struggling to fully staff their centers with qualified employees. This staffing problem directly affects the number of children they can serve. In addition, child care expenses can undercut the economic benefits of returning to work, especially for lower-wage workers. Ultimately, employers who offer creative solutions will recruit and retain top talent despite the childcare challenges these employees face.

Childcare challenges

The childcare challenges experienced by centers, families, and providers are defined by a low supply of childcare workers, cost inflation for both staff and services, and a persistent shortage of affordable childcare options for families. This has created a dilemma where working parents must choose between accepting a job that can’t accommodate their schedules or paying high costs in order to access quality childcare.

Childcare Challenges (1)

(Video) Struggles in the child care industry

Childcare workers are at ground zero of the problem we face nationally regarding the shortage of workers for jobs that pay less than $20/hr. Since early 2020, postings for childcare workers are up 15%, and pay rates have crept up into the high $18/hr range, according to Emsi Burning Glass job posting data. Without workers, childcare options are harder for parents to find. In addition, childcare becomes more expensive as these centers pass their labor costs on to their clients.

These increased costs wipe out earnings for many lower-wage workers. It simply costs more for care than many workers can afford. For example, an employee making $7.25/hr (the national minimum wage) earns gross wages of $2,511 per month. The national average monthly cost for full-time care at a daycare center is$1,324 per month. With two infants, that price quickly rises above the total income of said employee. This means some lower-wage workers simply cannotaffordto return to work. To illustrate further, for a single parent with 2 children paying housing and food costs, hourly pay would need to be well north of $22-25/hraftertaxes.

(Video) Childcare Challenges for Special Needs Children - NHK WORLD-JAPAN

Childcare Challenges (2)

Areportby Child Care Aware sheds light on average annual household expenses by region. The data shows that child care costs exceed housing costs in three out of four regions of the US. With families spending upwards of20% of their annual incomeon childcare, it’s clear that the cost of childcare is a huge factor to consider when deciding where to work (or whether to work at all).

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How childcare challenges are contributing to labor market issues

Previous research by Emsi Burning Glass,The Demographic Drought,shed light on the grim implications of living below a replacement level of a 2.1 total fertility rate. Millions of people are absent from the labor force because they were never born. It is clear that we have a lack of people problem coupled with a low labor force participation rate. Compounding this problem is a lack of affordable childcare. In short, we need people to have babies, but when they do they struggle with the availability and affordability of childcare, resulting in fewer parents being able to work, or at least it making less financial sense to work. Eddie Beaver, research team lead at Allegis Group states, “Soaring daycare costs, not enough workers, and fewer operating daycares mean our labor force recovery remains behind schedule and employers will continue to struggle to hire”.

Childcare Challenges (3)

(Video) Army Green Berets face childcare challenges

What can employers do to offset childcare challenges for employees?

Employers can help with some creativity. One approach is for employers to partner with their local organizations and/or other employers to fully fund daycare centers. This approach would combat the issue from both ends: availability and costs associated with daycare. On the other hand, offering flexible hours and remote work opportunities allow parents to determine the best arrangement for their family. Overall, addressing childcare challenges parents face can help bring numerous people back into the labor force.

Childcare Challenges (4)

(Video) Behaviour Management Strategies For Challenging Children

Some staffing agencies are specializing in only advertising postings from employers that offer comprehensive benefits packages as well as flexible work options. One agency, The Mom Project, connects talented professionals with employers who understand that no one should have to choose between family and career. Chandra Sanders, Director ofRISE at the Mom Project,shared how the Mom Project is connecting over 500,000 moms to companies that value working moms in the workplace.

Ultimately, everyone has to do their part to combat the challenges that working families face in regard to childcare costs and availability. Employers and communities can work together to form creative solutions for childcare challenges that families face. This could result in more parents getting back into the workforce, increasing the US labor force participation rate. We dive into childcare challenges and the overall labor market challenges we are facing inThe Demographic Drought: Bridging the Gap in our Labor Force.

(Video) Childcare Risk and Challenges


What are some challenges of working in childcare? ›

From children to career possibilities, there are plenty of difficulties that come with being an Early Childhood Education practitioner!
  • Children (so many children!) ...
  • Caregivers. ...
  • Admin Work. ...
  • Low Pay. ...
  • (Lack of) Recognition. ...
  • (Lack of) Development Opportunities. ...
  • Upward Job Mobility. ...
  • Related Resources.
Feb 6, 2022

What is the biggest challenge in childcare? ›

A common challenge shared by most early childhood educators is paperwork. There can sometimes be a lot to get through, in a short amount of administration time. Of course, with practise and experience, dealing with this necessary part of the job becomes easier – all things you're taught during your studies at Selmar.

What are challenging aspects of childcare? ›

The childcare challenges experienced by centers, families, and providers are defined by a low supply of childcare workers, cost inflation for both staff and services, and a persistent shortage of affordable childcare options for families.

What are some challenges in early childhood education? ›

That's why we're breaking down the most prominent issues in early childhood education and how you can best tackle them.
  • Workplace burnout. ...
  • Mental health concerns. ...
  • Lack of resources. ...
  • Low levels of compensation. ...
  • Heightened safety concerns. ...
  • Ever-evolving technologies. ...
  • Lack of parent engagement and communication.
Dec 20, 2022

What is most challenging about working with children? ›

Without question, what tends to be the most challenging thing when working with children is the fact that you never really know what mood they will be in or if they are even remotely willing to have their picture taken.

How can you support a challenging child in daycare? ›

Show empathy by validating and paraphrasing what the child is telling you. Reframe her statements in a positive light if you can do this honestly (“You're learning something brand new”). Respond to the need within the child's message.

What are 4 potential challenges of parenting? ›

They mentioned things like being too easily influenced, being defiant, being hypersensitive, or being disorganized. These were issues that the parent felt could not be changed, and these were the most difficult for them to identify a specific coping strategy.

What is a common challenge to high quality preschool inclusion? ›

lack of communication or collaboration among school districts and other regular early childhood programs (20 percent of responses); • belief that some children will “lose” in inclusive settings (20 percent of responses); • staff preparedness to provide high-quality services, among both regular early childhood staff ...

What are challenging childhood experiences? ›

Common examples of childhood adversity include child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, bullying, serious accidents or injuries, discrimination, extreme poverty, and community violence.

What are three issues that affect quality in child care? ›

As such, the quality of an early childhood program is dependent on the following three key factors.
  • Interpersonal interactions. The learning environment created by a teacher is critical to the quality of an early childhood program. ...
  • Physical environment. ...
  • Program support structure. ...
  • Professional and stable teacher workforce.
Feb 13, 2017

What are challenging behaviors in the early childhood classroom? ›

Other examples of challenging behaviors might include (but are not limited to) hitting, biting, or other aggressive behaviors, distracting or repetitive movements, and refusal to comply with classroom rules or routines.

How do you overcome challenges in early childhood education? ›

How to Overcome the Challenges of Teaching Preschoolers
  1. Maintaining the Attention of Young Kids. One of the biggest challenges of teaching preschoolers is retaining the attention of your students. ...
  2. Managing Misbehavior in the Classroom. ...
  3. Communicating with Family Members. ...
  4. Surviving the Physical Demands of the Job.
Mar 25, 2021

What is most important to you in childcare and early education? ›

Socialization: A Key Component to Early Childhood Education

Children who take part in early childhood education programs have improved social skills. In a preschool setting, children learn crucial skills like listening, sharing, and taking turns with others.

What are your strengths and weaknesses in child care? ›

Example: “My strengths when working with children include my ability to build rapport easily, my patience, and my creativity. I am also able to remain calm in challenging situations. My weaknesses include being easily distracted, having difficulty staying organized, and being overly emotional at times.”

Why do you want to work in childcare interview answers? ›

Example: “Ever since I volunteered to participate in educational activities for children at my local library, I have wanted to help take care of children. I see the potential of being a positive influence in their lives and helping them learn in an age-appropriate manner.”

What is most important about working with children? ›

Every day working with children provides an opportunity to teach them life lessons, useful skills, and important knowledge. Careers involving children offers the privilege to positively influence social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development!

What questions do you get asked in a childcare interview? ›

Examples of childcare background and experience questions include:
  • What age group do you prefer to work with and why?
  • How do you handle a misbehaving child?
  • What do you do to make new parents feel you're providing the ideal care for their child?
  • How do you know if your teaching strategies are effective?
May 17, 2023

How do you answer what are your challenges? ›

Use these steps for answering this interview question:
  • Consider previous challenges you've faced. ...
  • Tailor your answer to the job description. ...
  • Be specific about why they were challenges. ...
  • Be honest in your answer. ...
  • Present your challenge in a positive light. ...
  • Use nonprofessional examples if necessary.
Feb 15, 2023

How do you answer what challenges have you overcome? ›

Here are some extra tips to consider when providing an example of overcoming an obstacle:
  • Be honest! Don't make up an obstacle or lie about the details in the situation.
  • Don't exaggerate. Be specific about the situation and the outcome.
  • Emphasize key soft skills. ...
  • Be concise. ...
  • Don't blame others. ...
  • Stay positive!

How will you overcome these challenges? ›

10 Ways to Overcome Challenges in Life
  • Make A Plan. While you don't know what is going to happen in the future, you can always plan ahead. ...
  • Know You're Not Alone. Every person in this world has their low points. ...
  • Ask For Help. ...
  • Feel Your Feelings. ...
  • Accept Support. ...
  • Help Others. ...
  • Think Big. ...
  • Positive Mindset.

How do you handle stress in a childcare setting? ›

manage stress through movement and relaxation such as physical exercise, yoga, breathing techniques, massage, Pilates, tai chi and meditation; regularly check your progress towards stress prevention and reduction; and • seek support when needed from family, friends and health care professionals.

How do you handle misbehaving children in childcare? ›

If a child uses physical acts to express her feelings, use some of the following tips to change their behavior.
  1. Intercede before it happens. ...
  2. Teach and explain. ...
  3. Look for hidden causes. ...
  4. Give more attention to the injured party. ...
  5. Teach positive physical contact. ...
  6. Teach the clapping method. ...
  7. Avoid play hitting and wrestling.

What is the most challenging part of raising children? ›

One of the most challenging things about parenting is knowing what's “right.” With so much conflicting advice out there, it can be hard to know what to believe. But remember, there's no one “right” way to parent. You know your child best, so trust your instincts and do what feels right for you and your family.

What is the hardest thing about raising a child? ›

One of the hardest things parents face is when their child is mean, rude, or disrespectful. Your child may have always been this way. Or the change in their personality might have seemingly happened overnight—perhaps when they hit the pre-teen years.

What are the five 5 challenges that families face today? ›

Some common challenges families face in addition to managing chronic pain include things like moving house, separation or divorce, parenting issues, pressure at work or school, unemployment and financial problems, illness or disability of a family member, death of a family member, drug, alcohol, gambling addiction, and ...

What are the 5 types of diversity in a childcare program? ›

Although there are various ways to exhibit diversity, the five main ways they demonstrate this for children in their environment are with race, culture, age, abilities, and non-conforming gender roles.

What are three critical challenges impacting early childhood? ›

purposeful, challenging, and achievable. Three critical challenges impacting early childhood practices are: addressing disparities in school success and achievement; integrating and aligning preschool and elementary school programming; and improving teacher preparation, professional development and ongoing support.

What are the barriers to early childhood inclusion? ›

Barriers such as off-task or disruptive behavior from students with special needs, lack of teacher training, and negative parent perceptions of inclusion deter successful implementation of inclusion.

What is a challenge to early childhood teacher? ›

Managing Your Students

One of the biggest challenges early childhood teachers face is managing their students. It can be difficult to keep students engaged, especially if they are young or have behavioural problems.

What kind of difficulties and problems are experienced by children in school? ›

School problems include lack of engagement, poor results, lack of confidence, problems with peers and so on.

What is one of the most important aspects of quality in childcare? ›

Health, safety and good hygiene. Good nutrition. A well-maintained environment set up for children. An adequate number of staff who are sensitive and responsive to children.

What are a few things that indicate a high-quality childcare? ›

The best childcare programs have a few things in common; a low child-to-teacher ratio, small group sizes, well-trained staff, an age-appropriate curriculum, and a positive and safe learning environment. This should be your starting point if you want to run a high-quality childcare program and increase your bottom line.

What is the #1 indicator of quality in a childcare setting? ›

quality program should be clean and inviting. Children should look happy and busy. The equipment, materials, and planned activities should stimulate learning. Adults should be listening to, talking with (not at), and enjoying interacting with the children.

What are challenging Behaviours in childcare? ›

defiance (e.g. ignoring or refusing to follow your requests) fussiness (e.g. refusal to eat certain foods or wear certain clothes) hurting other people (e.g. biting, kicking) excessive anger when the child doesn't get their own way.

What do you think are the biggest challenges in being a nanny? ›

The Hardest Part of Being a Nanny, According to the Pros
  • Syncing parenting styles. When parents and nannies are not tied to the same parenting style it can quickly lead to frustration, not to mention confusion for kids. ...
  • Striking a balance. ...
  • Having more experience.
Feb 22, 2023


1. Childcare Risk and Challenges
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