Over the weekend, media and digital model holding firm IAC introduced that it had agreed to purchase Care.com, which describes itself as “the world’s largest on-line household care platform,” in a deal valued at about $500 million. Regardless of being the best-known market in the USA for locating youngster and senior caregivers, Care.com has spent the previous 9 months coping with the fallout from a Wall Avenue Journal investigative article that detailed doubtlessly harmful gaps in its vetting course of. The corporate’s points not solely spotlight the issues with scaling a market created to search out caregivers for essentially the most weak members of society, but in addition the USA’ childcare disaster.
Childcare in the USA is weighed down with many points and arguably nobody platform can repair it, regardless of how massive or well-known. Over the previous yr and a half, nevertheless, a number of startups devoted to fixing particular challenges have raised funding, together with Wonderschool, Kinside and Winnie.
IAC and Care.com’s announcement got here on the finish of a yr when extra media consideration has been paid to the difficulties American mother and father face to find and affording childcare, and the way that contributes to gender disparities, falling birthrates and different social points. The U.S. is the one industrialized nation on the earth with out mandated paid parental depart and childcare is likely one of the greatest bills for households. A number of Democratic presidential candidates, together with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, have made common childcare a part of their platform and enterprise leaders like Alexis Ohanian are utilizing their clout to advocate for higher household depart insurance policies.
However the subject has already created deep structural issues. From an financial perspective, a September 2018 research by ReadyNation and Council for a Robust America estimated that yearly, the 11 million working mother and father in the USA lose a complete of $37 billion in earnings as a result of they lack ample childcare. Companies in flip lose a complete of $13 billion a yr because of this, whereas the influence on decrease revenue and gross sales tax reduces tax revenues by $7 billion. Many mother and father change their profession trajectories after they’ve kids, even when they didn’t plan to. For instance, a research printed earlier this yr within the Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences discovered that 43% of girls and 23% of males in STEM change fields, swap to part-time work or depart the workforce.