A less-than-booming job market and rising childcare costs have created a considerable barrier to parents, particularly mothers, seeking employment opportunities. According to Paula Gorry, UK Business Development Manager for Stampin’ Up!, it’s a challenge direct selling uniquely equips parents to overcome.
Writing to entrepreneurs on balancing work and family, Gorry highlights recent childcare research from the UK-based Family and Childcare Trust. The Trust reports that average fees for one child in part-time nursery and another in an after-school club will set parents back £7,549 ($12,501) per year. That part-time rate is roughly equivalent to the average annual UK mortgage payment—estimated at £7,207 in 2012.
In its 2013 report on Parents and the High Cost of Child Care, leading market resource Child Care Aware® of America released similar statistics. For example, in every region of the United States, average childcare fees for an infant in a childcare center were higher than the average amount families spent on food.
For today’s childcare costs parents could, literally, put a child through college. Child Care Aware reports that in 31 states and the District of Columbia, the average annual cost for an infant in center-based care was higher than a year’s tuition and fees at a four-year public college.
Despite steep childcare costs, many households require some source of supplemental income. That’s where direct selling offers a viable alternative to the traditional workforce, says Gorry. The business model offers busy parents flexibility, enabling them to set their own pace and goals. In addition, direct selling brings together people with a passion for a common product or service—whether centered on crafting, nutrition, cosmetics or one of countless other offerings.