BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – A family in Alabama will spend nearly as much on childcare for two children as they will on their mortgage, according to Childcare Aware of America.
It estimates childcare for an infant and 4-year-old costs $13,780, while the average annual mortgage in Alabama is $13,788, just $8 more.
The pandemic has magnified the expense and need of childcare, and in turn, the calls for help to Childcare Resources.
“We did see an increase in different requests from maybe a little different audience now realizing how expensive childcare is and what’s available to help them, and we were able to guide them through the process and provide information to help offset that childcare cost,” said Joan Wright, Executive Director, Childcare Resources.
Childcare Resources was created in 1984 and serves Jefferson, Shelby, Walker and Blount counties. Wright said they work to connect families “in the gap” find quality and affordable childcare.
“They’re in that gap, they’re above the below and below the upper,” explained Wright. “They earn too much to qualify for some type of financial assistance, yet they struggle to be able to afford what they need to provide for their family, contribute to their professional growth, and contribute to the community.”
Donations given through the United Way of Central Alabama are used to help families offset the cost of childcare.
“These are people that you are impacting everyday with your contribution. They are people who may never meet, never know, but they are grateful to you because you reached out at a time, at an opportunity that addressed a need that you may not have inherently known, but you made a difference,” said Wright.
She added, “They’re able to provide for their families, they’re able to be more self-sufficient, and more importantly, they’re able to provide a great start for their child’s future, which is eventually going to impact our community as well.”