Future Workforce at Risk as Gen Z Parents Prioritize Child Care Over Careers

PR Newswire
Wednesday, July 10, 2024 at 12:45pm UTC

Future Workforce at Risk as Gen Z Parents Prioritize Child Care Over Careers

PR Newswire

Data from KinderCare's Parent Confidence Index reveals that Gen Z parents are more likely than older generations to consider curbing their careers due to the lack of affordable, accessible child care

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., July 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- New data from KinderCare Learning Companies' fifth annual Parent Confidence Index finds that child care accessibility and affordability are critical to the future labor force, as Gen Z is the most likely generation to put their careers on pause due to inability to secure child care. The national study conducted in partnership with The Harris Poll finds that for working Gen Z parents, child care benefits are the top-ranked reason for staying at their current job, followed by PTO and health insurance.

The next generation to enter the workforce faces uncertainty, as data shows the rising cost of child care impacts how Gen Z parents are approaching career and family planning. Amid the ongoing crisis to find high-quality, affordable child care, 51% of Gen Z parents said they're worried that they will have to step back from their careers to prioritize parenting -- a higher proportion than the 43% of Millennial and 35% of Gen X parents surveyed. 

"It's clear that Gen Z is going to do things differently by prioritizing their family over their career: something employers must consider when attracting and retaining the next generation of employees," stated Paul Thompson, CEO of KinderCare. "Every family deserves access to high-quality child care, whether that's in their community or at their workplace. That's why we work with employers across the country to provide employer-sponsored child care benefits, and why we advocate with local lawmakers to support early childhood education."

Compared to older generations, Gen Z parents are considering more career and lifestyle concessions like switching jobs, cutting hours, and even choosing not to have more children due to the rising cost and inaccessibility of child care. 67% of Gen Z parents say they know someone (or themselves) who wishes they could be in the workforce, but the cost of child care makes it too difficult.

Key Findings from Gen Z Parents

  • 66% said that piecing together enough child care coverage is a significant source of stress for them, compared to 59% of Millennials and 47% of Gen X.
  • 64% ranked child care benefits in their top three reasons for staying at their current job, compared to 52% of Millennial and Gen X parents.
  • 54% of Gen Z parents said the cost of child care is one of the main reasons they have chosen not to have more children.
  • 52% of parents said they don't feel like their family can afford child care right now.

The full 2024 KinderCare Parent Confidence Index can also be found here.

The Parent Confidence Index was first conducted in 2019. This year's survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of KinderCare from November 3, 2023, to November 15, 2023, among 2,004 parents with children aged 12 and younger representing a national sample. Within the sample, 1,177 parents with children ages 5 and under and 827 parents with children ages 6-12 were surveyed.

About KinderCare Learning Companies™
A leading provider early childhood and school-age education and care, KinderCare builds confidence for life in children and families from all backgrounds. KinderCare supports hardworking families in 40 states and the District of Columbia with differentiated flexible child care solutions to meet today's dynamic work environment:

  • In neighborhoods, with KinderCare® Learning Centers that offer early learning programs for children six weeks to 12 years old and with Crème de la Crème Schools®, which offers a premium early education model using a variety of themed classrooms;
  • At work, through KinderCare Learning Companies for Employers™, providing customized family benefits for employers across the country, including employer-supported child care benefits, on-site and near-site early learning centers and back-up care for last-minute child care, and
  • In local schools, with Champions® before and after-school programs.

KinderCare programs meet the highest standards, validated by independent, third-party evaluation including:

Gallup, measuring workforce engagement,
National Association for the Education of Young Children, ensuring individual early learning center quality,
Cognia, accreditation for before- and after-school programs
BRIGANCE® and TerraNova® assessments of children's academic progress and achievement, and
WELL Health-Safety Rating™, validating health and safety practices in our facilities.

Headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon, KinderCare operates more than 2,400 early learning centers and sites. In 2024, KinderCare earned its eighth Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award – one of only two current organizations worldwide to achieve this milestone for eight consecutive years. To learn more, visit KC-Learning.com

Media Contact
Colleen Moran
KinderCare Learning Companies®
503-872-1300, option 3

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SOURCE KinderCare Learning Companies