Given that the cost of child care may be nearly as large as one parent’s entire salary, a worker’s choice to leave the workforce or work part time so that his or her family doesn’t need to cover those costs may appear to be an economically rational decision. And while there are mothers who choose to stay home for other reasons, short-term economic pressures are often part of the equation. But this choice is not without consequences.
Australia has a large child care industry,[73] however in many locations (especially in inner-city suburbs of large cities and in rural areas) the availability is limited and the waiting periods can be up to several years.[74] The Australian government's Child Care Subsidy[75] scheme provides generous assistance with child care costs, but this still leaves many families with a large out of pocket expense. The median weekly cost of centre-based long day care in 2013 was approximately A$364[76] which puts it out of the reach of lower income earners.[77]
Looking for child care? Parents can receive free referrals and information about child care programs from their local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency or online at Referrals to all types of child care providers - licensed centers, family child care homes, and group child care homes as well as license exempt centers and homes are available. Information on quality of care, State licensing and the Illinois ExceleRate system are also available.
The first crèche was opened by Firmin Marbeau on 14 November 1844 in Paris,[62] The Société des Crèches was recognized by the French government in 1869. Originating in Europe in the late 18th and early 19th century, day cares were established in the United States by private charities in the 1850s, such as the Charity Organization Society founded by Ansley Wilcox. The Fitch Creche in Buffalo, New York was known as the first day center for working mothers in the United States. Another at that time was the New York Day Nursery in 1854.