It can be difficult to find affordable, quality summer childcare for employees.

Majority of U.S. Parents Made Job Sacrifices Due to Childcare This Summer

For many families, summer childcare arrangements are expensive, difficult to find or access, or don’t align with parent and guardian work schedules.

According to the Upwards 2022 Summer Childcare survey, 68% of U.S. parents experienced challenges securing childcare for their children this summer. In addition, 66% of parents had to make job sacrifices that compromised their household income and/or job security due to a lack of childcare during summer.

It can be nearly impossible to find affordable summer programs with space, or sometimes even a functional waitlist. Based on the latest Upwards survey conducted in June 2022, 38% of parents reported that the summer childcare they were able to find had a waitlist; and 24% of parents relying on daycare during summer were dealing with a waitlist.

Email our team to learn how Upwards’ employee childcare benefits can solve working parents’ childcare challenges during the summer and year-round.

Data from the Upwards 2022 Summer Childcare survey highlights that 68% of parents across the U.S. experienced challenges securing childcare this summer.

The data also indicates how much the cost of childcare keeps increasing. One in three parents (33%) reported an increased cost of childcare in comparison to last year. Of those reporting higher costs:

  • 31% said their summer childcare costs increased by 6-10%
  • 29% reported their summer childcare costs increased by 11-20%
  • 20% shared that their summer childcare costs increased by 21-30%
  • 7% relayed that their summer childcare costs increased by 31-40%
  • 7% described their summer childcare costs as increasing by 50% or more
  • And only 6% of parents reported a moderate 5% increase of summer childcare costs

Among parents of school-aged children:

  • 32% rely on grandparents and other family members for summer childcare
  • 16% depend on daycare
  • 5% utilize a part-time babysitter
  • 5% enroll in summer day camps
  • 21% have no childcare secured this summer

Among parents of preschoolers:

  • 17% rely on grandparents and other family members for summer childcare
  • 34% depend on daycare
  • 8% enroll in summer day camps
  • 8% utilize nannies or babysitters
  • 8% have not been able to find any childcare or are still looking for it

78% of parents report that the search for summer childcare is a source of anxiety and stress. For more than 80% of parents, the cost of summer childcare is a source of anxiety and/or stress.

Surveyed parents paint a vivid picture of how these stark numbers are affecting their lives:

It’s $1900/mo PLUS an extra $1k in August for the ‘summer program’ when daycare is closed for 2 weeks on their summer break,” reports one California family.

Searching for childcare (not even summer childcare, just full-time regular childcare) has become my second job and has yielded nothing other than securing the fact that my husband or I will likely be leaving the workforce since the cost of hiring a nanny isn’t worth it. We will have to dip into our savings to do this, and possibly have to move,” commented another survey participant.

Employers can offer employee childcare benefits that working parents actually use.

According to the survey, 93% of U.S. parents do not receive any form of childcare benefits from their employers that can be utilized to access summer childcare.

When asked about what kind of support families need to secure reliable, quality summer childcare 41% of parents reported they would benefit from financial assistance either from the government or their employers in form of childcare benefits, and 36% would like to have more spots available in local licensed childcare centers and more flexible childcare options to accommodate their schedules and family needs.

Schedule a call with Upwards to discuss why employer-sponsored childcare benefits might make fiscal sense for your organization and have a lasting impact for your working families.


The largest childcare network in the United States, providing access to quality, affordable childcare to families nationwide. We support childcare providers in operating sustainable businesses through a technology-based marketplace and partner with government entities to improve access to care. Upwards also helps employers of all sizes offer their employees childcare benefits. Our mission is to help all families care for their children — not just those who can afford it.

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