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The Early Care and Education Consortium Announces Study on Future of Nation’s Child Care

July 15, 2021 GMT

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As Americans emerge from the pandemic, the need for child care is greater than ever. And while the pandemic highlighted the essential role of child care to our nation’s economy, it also revealed how fragile the child care sector is. The Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC) today released a paper discussing the urgent need for significant federal investments to build and improve upon our existing early education system. The paper, which was informed by analysis from the Boston Consulting Group, includes recommendations on how federal funding should be used to address the nation’s growing child care crisis.

The organizations have a goal of ensuring that every family has access to affordable, high quality care in the setting that meets their unique needs. On behalf of the 15.6 million children that rely on child care every day, the organizations are joining forces to address both new and previously unresolved issues, including expanding access to care, particularly in underserved communities, affordability for families, higher wages and career pathing for early educators, the availability of continuous high-quality care, and ensuring school readiness for all children. The organizations will advocate for funding to improve the overall quality and accessibility of care, across a variety of care settings or delivery mechanisms, including child care centers, family homes, faith-based providers and public schools.

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“The child care sector is at an inflection point as the economy rebounds and demand for quality child care continues to grow, while providers struggle under the weight of increasing operating costs,” said ECEC’s Executive Director Radha Mohan. “Now more than ever, America’s families need the ability to choose the type of child care that suits their needs: high quality child care that is affordable and more accessible. Child care is critical to not only to support our current workforce, but to prepare our next generation for success in school and later in life. We look forward to combining our expertise with other advocacy organizations and think tanks to advocate on behalf of working families, employers and child care providers of all sizes.”

Access to affordable, high-quality child care is a major issue for employers as well. Over 17.5 million workers or 20% of the American workforce rely on child care every day. Prior to the pandemic, ReadyNation’s released a study in 2019 examining the economic impacts of the nation’s child care crisis on children, working parents, employers, and taxpayers. The report found that a lack of access to child care costs $57 billion in lost earnings, productivity, and revenue.

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Today, businesses are struggling with a workforce shortage, in part spurred by a lack of access to child care, according to the Chamber of Commerce. In fact, 40% of employers are concerned their employees will never fully return to work. More than 2 million women are estimated to have left the workforce as a result of the pandemic.

ABOUT ECEC
The Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC) is a nonprofit alliance of the leading multi-state/multi-site child care providers, key state child care associations, and premier educational service providers, representing over 6,500 programs in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and select international locations. ECEC members serve as the unified collective voice for providers of high-quality programs and services that support families and children from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. They are advocates for federal and state policies that bring cost-efficient, results-driven quality to scale.

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SOURCE Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC)