It is important to assess the value of caregivers because they are what truly make society function, and often their work is under-appreciated. They prepare the next generation for school, work, and decision-making. The way in which a child is nurtured at a young age and through adolescence has both psychological and developmental effects that effect their future. Not only does the child depend on caregiving, but schools and employers depend on the childcare. The government also benefits because these children turn into productive members of society. Eventually, they will be the ones running the country.
The majority of parents now work, regardless of the age of their children. Parents are workers and workers are parents, both out of necessity and preference: 70.5 percent of mothers are in the labor force, including 64.8 percent of mothers with a child under the age of 6. That’s in large part because many families in today’s economy rely on two incomes in order to pay the bills. In fact, the only married-couple families that have seen real income growth over the past 30 years are families where both parents work.
Childcare varies dramatically across cultures. These discrepancies are attributed to the homestead and household environments. That is, the type of work performed by adult caretakers in a given community strongly influence the type of childcare used. In agricultural/ horticultural societies where work is done to provide sustenance for the community, siblings and similar-aged children are responsible for younger children. While many global communities prefer children aged 7–10 for designated caregiving responsibilities, children no younger than 12 are preferred in the Western world where paid childcare is common.