Daycare + Uneasy Economy = Trouble

Reuters reports today about the correlation between the current economic slump and the rise in child abuse cases across the nation.

The relationship between financial stress and frustration is well understood, yet taking out frustration on children is not acceptable.

But what does this mean for daycare and child care programs? As many reports suggest, the number of children in full-time daycare is dropping, likely due to financial hardships faced by a family, either by the loss of an income or simply due to cost-cutting measures. As daycare attendance drops, the financial stability of daycare facilities drop as well – leading to the same financial stress and frustrations parents face each day. Additionally, with financial hardships come choices about the costs of daycare as a whole.

While it may not be feasible to reduce or completely cut daycare from the picture, parents are opting for less expensive programs and alternative care options – or, in some cases, no care at all. These instances require extra vigilance; while the cost of daycare has little effect in the overall safety and vitality of a daycare program, parents should be careful when reviewing the requirements and certifications of those employed by the daycare. Our daycare tip: not only should parents keep a close eye on a child’s experiences with daycare, parents should also keep a close eye on the financial strain of the daycare and its employees – and themselves.

Frustration can take many forms, and in hard times, this stress may cause an inappropriate reaction to children. Take steps to ease stress, including mechanisms to appropriately manage and combat stress.

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