For many reasons, childcare costs for single parents are considered to be the most significant aspect. This is on such aspect that will force a parent to incur debt or choose to remain unemployed. Both these choices may be useful and somewhat reasonable for a married couple but for a single parent they are caught between the two options. As childcare is a huge and daunting obstacle all over the world, the brunt is faced by all and more by the single parents. Add to that the government cuts in few countries have worsened the bind even more.
The cost of childcare is not always related to money as there are a lot of non-monetary aspects that will make childcare even costlier. Here are a few such costs:
Before you set your foot in your office you will need to put your child in someone’s custody. It is simple if you live in an extended family but in this modern world where everything is nuclear from power generation to the creation of bombs, it is quite natural there will be more nuclear families. However, a couple may share this responsibility but for a single parent, it is surely a daunting task.
Therefore, as a single parent, you will need a childcare to carry on with your work but they need to be paid for in advance.
A difficult proposition
This is not a minor outlay and must not be taken lightly because in some countries the childcare cost can be as high or even more than the monthly income of an average household. Therefore, a childcare can be a barrier and a burden for you especially when you are the sole earning member of your family having a limited income source.
The obvious consequences of such high cost of childcare are getting into debt as most of the single parents confirmed. Moreover, parents who are already struggling with debt experience even more crippling effect as they are unable to get any further debt. They are compelled to settle their debts which even make the situation worse and in most of the times, it is seen that debt consolidation ratings are significantly poor.
- On the other hand, parents that are better off also have to make compromises in different fields. Few may have to give up their swimming lessons and few others may have to forego their music tuition in order to cope up with their needs. This helps them to avoid the nursery fees that are considered to be higher than inflation rises in most of the developed countries where single family homes are large in number.
- As far as the more impoverished families are concerned, parents have to cut on their basic essentials to meet with their children’s needs. They give up their food and medical expense, heating and transport but still sometimes find it difficult to meet their ends simply. In such a case one of the married couples has to give up their job to prevent paying to the childcare center.
- A significant third has to pass on a job offer for this same reason so that they can afford the required time to their child. There are even few that have to give up their training and education due to the expensive childcare.
Therefore, rather than facilitating their work, parents have to look for alternative ways for childcare and stay out of their workplace to deal with this daunting obstacle. As for the poorer families they are more likely to remain in poverty and as for the single-parent families who do not have any savings or cannot access to any line of credit will have to effectively shut out of work.
Role of the government
With such growing concern and difficulty of the single parents especially, the governments have come up with different childcare program as well. However, not all countries have been so privileged. In a few countries governments have been trying to get people off welfare and more into the workplace. As a result, over the last decade, there are a thousand of people simply abandoned from benefits for a lifetime. This means that there are a lot of children living in poverty or growing up in distress living in homes where no one works.
- There are a lot of talks regarding lack of work ethics, fuel levels of unemployment and much more but in reality, the financial limitations rather than the nebulous psychological causes are that which keeps the parents from working or becoming employees.
- The action of the government apparently seems like it is to worsen the childcare bind. Few governments have sliced the working tax credit in their annual budget. This means that it now covers only 70% of the childcare cost rather than the previous 80%. This resulted in a huge difference in the monetary income of those single parents, especially who need such help the most.
As a result, this cost cut agenda along with the disdainful rhetoric the unemployed parents may seem to many that it is one of the various ways followed by the governments to make the poorest even poorer and keep them that way from cradle to the grave.
Impact of child and childcare
Having a child is a very pleasant thing so long as you do not have to desperately look for ways in which you can meet with all your daily expenses and that of your child with your limited income as a single parent.
If you are not very strategic, you will face serious consequences that may even affect your retirement plans and benefits, VA loans and others. Therefore, to bring up your greatest rewards nicely, you will have to show great responsibility as well.
Invest in child education and other sources that will pay you off well in the long run. Create an emergency fund that will help you to meet with any unexpected expenses. Most importantly, if you have debt and want to deal with it well, you must take help of a credit counselor.