Value of the stay-at-home parent: Study reveals time, cost required

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A new study is shedding light on the evolving role and significant contributions of stay-at-home parents in modern society.

According to the study, conducted by Beike Cell Therapy, researchers delved into the amount of time stay-at-home parents dedicate to their role and calculated what the cost of outsourcing their tasks would be in 80 global cities. 

"Being a stay-at-home parent, devoting your time to the care of the family is a uniquely challenging commitment that requires tremendous physical and emotional effort," Beike Cell Therapy said, adding, "Yet it’s a role where the value of the work done is often not acknowledged or even measured." 

Stay-at-home parents spend more than 150 hours on tasks per month

Researchers found that stay-at-home parents with one child spend approximately 155.5 hours on parental and household tasks per month. This rises to more than 200 hours per month for two children.

The data included tasks ranging from cleaning, shopping, cooking and laundry, in addition to childcare tasks such as transportation, emotional support, tutoring and planning.

File: Stay-at-home parent (Credit: ljubaphoto / E+ / Getty Images)

More specifically, the researchers found that stay-at-home parents spend about 16 hours cooking per month, nearly 20 hours cooking, 8.6 hours doing laundry and 11 hours shopping. 

The pricey cost of outsourcing parental, household duties

Following this, researchers also analyzed the cost of outsourcing the tasks in each city using salary data websites. The results were then multiplied by the number of hours spent on each task during the duration of a child’s upbringing to produce an overall figure. The researchers assumed a 20-year timeline per child. 

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The findings revealed that the cost of outsourcing parental and household duties for one child’s 20-year upbringing would be highest in Zurich, Switzerland ($1.09 million), followed by Basel, Switzerland ($1.01 million) and San Francisco ($1 million). 

Cost of outsourcing parental duties (over 20 years/monthly)

  1. Zurich, Switzerland ($1.4 million) / ($5,737 monthly)
  2. Basel, Switzerland ($1.3 million) / ($5,299 monthly)
  3. San Francisco ($1.25 million) / ($5,205 monthly)
  4. Geneva, Switzerland ($1.25 million) / ($5,193 monthly)
  5. Copenhagen, Denmark ($1.1 million) / ($4,559 monthly)
  6. Oslo, Norway ($1.1 million) / ($4,544 monthly)
  7. Washington D.C., USA ($1.06 million) / ($4,432 monthly)
  8. New York, USA  ($1.05 million) / ($4,380 monthly)
  9. Los Angeles, USA ($1.02 million) / ($4,256 monthly)
  10. Helsinki, Finland ($1 million) / ($4,171 monthly)
  11. Tokyo, Japan ($969,000) / ($4,038 monthly)
  12. Sydney, Australia ($967,000) / ($4,027 monthly)
  13. Melbourne, Australia ($965,000) / ($4,019 monthly)
  14. London, UK ($963,000) / ($4,009 monthly)
  15. Chicago, USA ($955,000) / ($3,977 monthly)
  16. Hamburg, Germany ($947,000) / ($3,943 monthly)
  17. Houston, USA ($907,000) / ($3,779 monthly)
  18. Stockholm, Sweden ($902,000) / ($3,758 monthly)
  19. Munich, Germany ($872,000) / ($3,632 monthly)
  20. Reykjavik, Iceland ($862,000) / ($3,589 monthly)

LINK: See the full list here

Map: Global value of stay-at-home parents

Zoom in and tap or click for each city's value.

Study highlights crucial role of stay-at-home parents

Beike Cell Therapy said the research highlights the crucial role of stay-at-home parents and has sparked discussions about the need for policies and initiatives that better support stay-at-home parents, including access to resources, childcare assistance, and recognition of their contributions to social security and retirement benefits.

Dr. Emily Chen, lead researcher on the study, emphasizes the societal significance of recognizing and supporting stay-at-home parents. "In an era where work-life balance is more challenging than ever, the role of stay-at-home parents is indispensable," she said. "They not only contribute to the economy but also play a vital role in shaping the next generation and building stronger communities."

This story was reported from Los Angeles.