"Stay-at-home mothers are younger, poorer and less educated than their working counterparts," Pew reports. " For example, 34% of stay-at-home mothers are poor, compared with 12% of working mothers. They are also less likely to be white and more likely to be immigrants."
This suggests that stay-at-home motherhood is primarily driven by people having too little money, rather than having the luxury of an expendable second income.
What can be done? For the college-bound, there is always the solace of myriad sources of potential financial aid for students who need or deserve it. Some day-care providers also offer sliding-scale payments based on income.
So far, however, no matter how smart the kid may be, there are no merit-based scholarships for day care.