High cost of childcare creating more stay-at-home moms

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Call it a sign of the times, more moms are choosing to stay at home to raise their kids.  One of the reasons why, the price of childcare.  

California's become one of the most expensive states for infant childcare, and that's putting more and more financial pressure on families.  It's forcing many to make a hard choice.  

"It's a little crazy at times," said Brandi Bilhartz. 

Bilhartz's full time job is taking care of her three kids. 

"It was really important to me to be a stay at home mom.  My mom stayed at home with me and I just remember having really good memories about it," said Bilhartz. 

The decision, Bilhartz says, was also a financial one.

"Our thought was we could get rid of a car payment and I can stay home for basically the same price.  It was so exorbitant that there was no way it would be worth it for somebody else to take care of my kids," said Bilhartz.

She's not the only mom, the Pew Research Center says 29% of moms are now staying at home.  Compare that 26% during the height of the recession in 2008.

"I find that a lot of moms I know are stay-at-home moms," said stay-at-home mom Jasmine Orlando.

"My gym typically has a tremendous amount of stay at home moms, but I am seeing more of a movement towards that in the last couple of years," said Nancy Scott, owner of My Gym Palm Desert.

The cost of child care has also risen, 70% in the last 30 years. 

"I think that the cost is a little out of control but you want somebody qualified to be taking care of your kids," said Orlando.

"You are going to work to pretty much pay for childcare, things do go up and I know the cost of having a baby is expensive from day one with the hospital and doctors visits.  Sometimes it's just easier to stay home," said Orlando.

It's not just moms, dads are staying home too.

"I probably have 10 stay-at-home dads where just because of what changed in our economic make up of the desert really, that one parent's job became the one that was the breadwinner and the other parent stayed home whether it was the mother or the father," said Scott.

Regardless of the reason, the moms we talked to wouldn't have it any other way.

"I want to be apart of every step," said Orlando.

"It was a sacrifice we decided to make and so far it's worked out," said Bilhartz. 

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