A new study by CommonCentsMom.com has evaluated the cost of early childcare once state support lapses and until the child turns two years of age.
It based its calculations on mothers on a median female wage, who return to work and share the cost of a childminder on the lowest possible pay equally with another adult.
The results highlight that Denmark has “the most balanced system in the developed world”, where women need only forked out 0.45% of their wages on childcare.
Romania and Estonia impress are next on the list, ranking second and third best for how much of their wages mothers must allow for the remainder of the childcare period, with just 2.63% and 6.03%, respectively.
According to the study, Bulgaria (8.33%) and Austria (9.99%) are the only other two countries where mothers need not spend more than one-tenth of their salaries on hiring a childminder for their under two-year-old.
On the opposite spectrum are Poland (36.17%), Spain (27.01%), New Zealand (25.76%), Portugal (25.42%), and Greece (24.57%).
In these countries, up to one-quarter of mothers’ salaries must go towards the care of their child until the age of two.
This number doubles for mothers who are sole caregivers, the study shows.
Meanwhile, the study shows that mothers in Ireland spend 17.02% of their wages on early childcare.
The study suggests that in the US, mothers on an average salary of US$59,507.58 returning to work immediately after giving birth would need to spend at least 1/8 of their wages to hire a nanny on the lowest possible pay.
Those who do not split this cost with their partners must allow for at least one-quarter of their wages to enlist a childminder’s services.
Maternity leave pay
Meanwhile, the study shows that Ireland is among the least generous countries in the developed world for maternity leave pay.
The study analysed the costs of early childcare for women in 40 countries relative to their incomes, how much time off they are offered, and the equivalent of this time in full-rate paid weeks.
According to the results, the US is the only country in the developed world that does not offer any paid maternity leave.
States with around half of the US’ GDP and up to six times lower average salaries are more generous than the US when it comes to offering financial support to mothers, the results highlight.
Read more on this news article.