After Elon Musk touts Tesla solar on Twitter, Walmart sues the electric vehicle and clean energy company over store rooftop panels that ignited.Technologyread more
The bond market has entered a financial twilight zone, and at this point, there doesn't seem to be a smooth way out.Market Insiderread more
Trump said he has "been thinking about payroll taxes for a long time" — and he cautioned that "whether or not we do something now, it's not being done because of recession."Politicsread more
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo privately told business executives and free traders that the trade war could end by the 2020 election and that hurdles to an immediate agreement...2020 Electionsread more
Market bull Jeff Saut told CNBC on Tuesday that the lows are in and the market is headed "much higher."Marketsread more
Home Depot CFO Carol Tome says "consumer confidence is near record high levels" but "consumer demand could be impacted" by lingering U.S.-China trade tensions.Mad Money with Jim Cramerread more
The company's stock seesawed after the markets closed Tuesday, initially swinging up by 4% before falling by about 2%.Retailread more
President Donald Trump believes he has quite the bargaining chip with the European Union.Marketsread more
The United States does not have a defense against hypersonic weapons, which can travel at least five times the speed of sound, or a little more than a mile per second....Defenseread more
The Federal Reserve has lost control of interest rates as evidenced by the federal funds rate trading higher than any part of the U.S. Treasury yield curve, Jeffrey Gundlach,...Marketsread more
See which stocks are posting big moves after the bell.Market Insiderread more
Stanley Smith of Fort Myers, Florida, shells out $1,800 a month for an infant and a 3-year-old to attend a local day-care center.
Smith said his family can afford the cost without too great a struggle. However, he added, “it’s definitely money I would rather use for other things. "
It’s not your imagination: If you’re a parent confronting a mountain of bills and struggling to cover them all with an increasingly stretched income, you’re far from alone.
Child-care costs jumped for the fifth straight year, according to a survey from Care.com. The site surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. parents in May to see how their child-care spending affects their finances. Weekly rates for the various types of caretaker come from Care.com 2017 member data and centers listed on the site, as well as data from au pair organizations.
The top finding: Most families pay an uncomfortably high amount for child care.
What is "affordable"? Obviously a household with an annual income of $48,000 would define "affordable" differently than one pulling in $120,000 a year.
Percentages are an efficient way to quantify the impact of child-care costs on a household budget. And, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, affordable child care would consume 10 percent or less of the family budget.
Care.com finds that a substantial majority — 70 percent — of families in the U.S. don’t even come close to that level. Instead, they pay about twice that affordability threshold.
In order to manage costs, families responding to the survey say they’ve cut back on cable and reduced their number of date nights. One in 3 families also said child-care costs had played a part in family planning. They either put off having children or planned on fewer children than they would have liked.
The simple comparison many people make is take-home pay versus the cost of child care, according to Katie Hamm, vice president of early childhood policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C.
But this financial trade-off misses a big piece of the puzzle.
“You have to think of your long-term earning potential and your retirement assets, " Hamm said.
Other benefits and personal preferences may be harder to calculate. But for many people the calculation is financial. “They feel they can’t afford to work, and they can’t afford to quit,” Hamm said.
Here’s what you could be giving up, if one parent gives up a salary just in case you’re thinking that it would be cheaper to stay home. A calculator from the Center for American Progress shows how much parents lose when they leave a job to save on child-care costs. To calculate your losses under different scenarios, you can change your expected age of retirement, salary and years you plan to be out of the workforce, among other factors.
People don’t always understand how the money is really spent after they pay their child-care bill, Hamm said.
Say a teacher cares for three infants at $15,000 per baby. Out of that $45,000 total, the day-care center must pay wages, utilities, rent, supplies and cribs, insurance and other salaries for its workers and administrators.
An interactive tool from the Center for American Progress shows you where the money goes.
Plug in your state, your child’s age and then tinker with options such as “fewer children per teacher, “make the classroom bigger” and “increase salaries,” among others, to see how they impact your monthly costs.
Child care isn’t just necessary so families can earn a living. “We now know that so much of what happens in the first five years lays the foundation for being successful in school, successful at work,” Hamm said.
She is concerned about a widening school readiness gap, as the ability to access high-quality child care is limited by a parent’s ability to pay. People depend on a patchwork of solutions, from a network of family and friends to part-time employment.
“Child care is definitely unaffordable,” Hamm said, and the most common arrangement — day-care centers — are out of reach for low-income families. “Only a quarter of young kids are in child care centers.”
Hamm said the U.S. is lagging other countries with longer paid family leave and access to early childhood education. Some countries that haven't previously done so, such as China, are now addressing these issues, she said. “This will contribute over the long term to our global competitiveness in a negative way.
“High-quality early education is something kids need,” Hamm said. “It’s becoming a contributor to inequality.” At the same time other countries have extended paid family leave, with early childhood education, so families get support through those critical first five years.
More in Personal Finance: