Fund Early Care and Education for a Better Workforce

Why should businesses, communities, and states be concerned about creating family-friendly policies for their workforce and citizens?

  • Communities are concerned with keeping their youth and attracting young people and families to live, work, and play.
  • Communities across the country are pursuing the same families, so special attention is needed to stand above the rest.
  • U.S. companies lose $3 BILLION annually as a consequence of childcare-related absences and 85% of employers report providing childcare services improves employee recruitment. 

Here's how: inject money into making sure yours is a Be WUCA! family-friendly business and community with a quality, fully-funded early care and education environment. Every decision your community makes, asks: "how will this decision affect children?" Look at all your policies and ask if they are family-friendly. 

Issues with childcare often affect the job performance of working parents by increasing absenteeism, tardiness, turnover rates, recruitment, and training costs. In turn, these issues affect productivity and work quality and, ultimately, the competitiveness of the businesses that employ these workers.

An average business with 250 employees can save $75,000 per year in lost work time by subsidizing care for employees' sick children. Employers surveyed report that childcare services decrease employee absences by 20-30 percent and reduce turnover by 37-60 percent. If it's your own business, it impacts your bottom line.

Research shows that work-family benefits have a direct impact on employee recruitment and retention. For example, a small textile manufacturing company in the Southwest experienced a 40 percent turnover rate that dramatically dropped to seven percent after beginning a childcare program.

It's critical employers attract and retain good, productive workers to stay competitive in the market. Given the changing composition of America’s labor force and the impact childcare has on worker productivity, businesses with employer-assisted childcare implement a cost-effective way to control labor costs, enhance worker productivity, and engage your workforce. Employees will be loyal to and productive for a company who helps care for their children!

Investing when the brain is developing is good policy.

The following chart shows the relationship of brain development to public expenditures.

The brain develops 80% by the age of three and 90% by school age. In fact, the brain is connecting new neurons in the first 2000 days of a child's life at a rate of 700 connections per second. Every connection is a thought, belief, or a new learned experience. These first 2000 days are when school and work habits are being formed. We need to spend dollars when they will do the most good. 

Think back to your first thought. How old were you when you have your first memory? For most, our first memories average at three or four years old. As that is true, what is being taught to children during this critical phase of lifetime brain development is crucial to a child's - and society's - welfare.

But, as the diagram shows, public expenditures increase in the preschool and kindergarten years when a child begins school, near the end of early significant brain connections. In fact, the Federal Reserve has documented that for every $1 invested in early care and education, communities save between $4 - $14 in future costs of remedial and special education, the juvenile crime system, and welfare support.

The labor market today and into the foreseeable future is radically different than it used to be. New jobs that we will need have not even been thought of or invented. The old problem of finding enough work for rising numbers of workers is replaced by the new problem of locating enough workers to fill new jobs requiring technical skills generated by an expanding economy. 

Every experience we have had shapes who we are, including our school and work habits. Good early care and education is critical to the students and workers of the future. 

When you invest in and create a family-friendly WUCA! community with a quality, fully-funded early care and education environment, families will look for you and choose your community to call home.

When you implement these recommendations in your community and state, you will stand above the rest and grow! 

 How does this decision affect children? Is it FAMILY-FRIENDLY?