Parents prioritize safety over price when it comes to child care

Parents prioritize safety over price when it comes to child care

May 3, 20224 min read

Church Mutual’s® new Risk Radar Report – Child Care reveals insights, opportunities and challenges for today’s providers

MERRILL, Wis. – Parents across the United States face the difficult challenge of selecting a child care facility for their children – and amidst the nation’s continuing child care crisis, the process isn’t easy. In its new Risk Radar Report – Child Care1, Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. (a stock insurer)2, an insurer of child care providers, found that “safety protocols and procedures” (65%) was the most important factor for parents selecting a child-care facility, followed closely by “staff experience and training” (64%). These factors topped “price” (55%), “programming/curriculum” (55%) and “staff turnover” (45%), which came in last out of nine total factors.

“Child care is an essential service for today’s working parents,” said Rich Poirier, president and CEO of Church Mutual. “In 2019, the U.S. child care crisis cost the nation an estimated $57 billion in lost earnings, productivity and revenue. Fast forward to today, our nation is emerging from a pandemic, and the challenges and costs facing child care providers only continue to rise.

“We protect child care organizations and the children they serve by mitigating risk through education, training, insights and essential insurance coverage. Moreover, to better position themselves for success, it’s important for providers to prepare for the risks they face, as well as better understand what’s driving parents’ decision-making process when it comes to choosing care for their children – that’s where our new Risk Radar Report helps.”

Risk Radar Report – Child Care is the first release of Church Mutual’s new Risk Radar initiative that uses proprietary, primary research to gather key, forward-looking insights for child-care providers, other nonprofit organizations and houses of worship, helping them maximize opportunities and minimize risk. Risk Radar Report – Child Care surveyed approximately 500 Americans (18+) with one or more children currently in child care.

What child care means for parents

When asked what child care means to them, more than half (52%) of parents said it is “an essential for me to work and provide for my family,” slightly exceeding “an important part of the social and emotional development of my child” (51%). This contrasts with only 28% who indicated that child care is a service that is “helpful, but not essential for my family life.”

Said Nicole Jolley, Church Mutual’s assistant vice president – Child Care, Nonprofit and Human Services, “Today’s parents consider child care essential to their family dynamic. More than half also indicated child care is an important part of the social and emotional development of their child. It’s important that providers are able to remain open and create a safe environment using established safety protocols and checklists to guide their operations.”

Child care challenges top of mind for coming year

Given the pandemic’s prominence over the last two years, it’s unsurprising that the Risk Radar Report – Child Care found that “new pandemic variants/infectious disease impacts and procedures” (49%) topped parents’ list of concerns for the biggest child care challenges in the coming year. This narrowly bested “high care costs” (47%) and “being able to work while caring for my child(ren)” (42%). Only 33% of parents reported that access, or “finding a facility that has space to take my child” was a challenge for the coming year – despite widely reported shortages of care workers.

Provider resources

Church Mutual offers a range of free, online resources specifically for child care, nonprofit and human services organizations. Visit Safety resources for child care and other nonprofit organizations to learn about and help reduce for common risks.

“Understanding the vital role that child care plays, and the associated challenges and desires from parents’ perspectives, creates a unique opportunity for providers. We encourage them to use the insights from our Risk Radar Report to enhance and evolve their organizations,” concluded Jolley.

About Church Mutual
Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I., founded in 1897, offers specialized insurance for religious organizations of all denominations, public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities, senior living facilities, secular and non-secular camps and conference centers, and nonprofit and human services organizations throughout the United States. Church Mutual markets most lines of commercial property and liability insurance, including multi-peril, workers' compensation and commercial auto insurance. In addition to insurance, Church Mutual provides a spectrum of value-added solutions that benefit its customers. Church Mutual holds the following honors:

• A.M. Best Company "A" (excellent) rating
• Wisconsin 75 Top Private Company by Deloitte US, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021
• Wisconsin 75 Distinguished Performer: Innovation by Deloitte US 2019
• 2021 Gallup Culture Transformation Award recipient
• 2020 Women and Diversity Award recipient from the American Property Casualty Insurance Association
• Futuremakers Partner by Wisconsin Technical College System
• Celent Model Insurer for innovation and emerging technologies
• Award in Innovation for entrepreneurialism and innovation by National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies
• 2018-2019 Employer of the Year by Northcentral Technical College

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1Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. conducted an online survey through SMS Research Advisors, The Church Mutual Risk Radar Report – Child Care, in March 2022, with a nationally representative sample of 500 adults aged 18+.

2Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.

Connect with:
  • Nicole Jolley
    Nicole Jolley Assistant Vice President - Nonprofit and Human Services

    Nicole offers an inside look at risks and liabilities nonprofits face, especially within food banks, homeless shelters and group homes.

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