Business Economics of a Child Care Crisis


Offering child care assistance for employees and other child-friendly policies can provide a reasonable return on investment for employers. However, it takes a hard-edged, dollars-and-sense understanding of the relational economics with employee retention and productivity.  Early care and education supports for parents in the workplace are often considered a work/life benefit and viewed as a "feel good perk."


However, the current child care system does not meet the need of families or employers according to a recent report, Want to Grow the Economy? Fix the Child Care Crisis - workers and employers feel pain in pocketbooks and productivity.

January 2019 report prepared for ReadyNation/Council for a Strong America

A second report calculates the determinants of "substantial economic losses when families with children under 3 do not have adequate child care".  

          Work time disruptions include:

      • Working parents report leaving work early
      • Working parents report being late for work, missing a full of work or being distracted at work
      • Working parents reports missing part of their daily work shift

          Productivity is impacted by:

      • Losing out on training and education that would improve productivity
      • Job stability measured by supervisor reprimands for child care conflicts
      • Pay or hours are reduced for child care reasons
      • Significant job disruption or terminiations due to unreliable child care

The Economic Impact of Insufficient Child Care on Working Families by Clive R. Belfield (Economist, Queens College, City University of New York Teachers College, Columbia University) for ReadyNation/Council for a Strong America