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Child Care Crisis = Economic Fallout

The child care crisis in America is not a new or obscure issue; it’s a topic that has been discussed and analyzed extensively in countless committees, articles, and reports. However, despite the wealth of information available, the urgency of addressing this crisis cannot be overstated. It is undeniable that there is a crucial connection between the child care crisis and its economic implications. My goal is to shed light on why this issue should inspire policymakers and the voting public to take action.

The Economic Case for Child Care Reform

In our quest to convince policymakers to prioritize child care regulatory reform and make substantial investments in the child care sector, it’s essential to make a compelling economic case. To understand the broader economic impact of child care, we reached out to Simon Workman, a national expert on child care finance and a partner at Prenatal to Five Fiscal Strategies. Simon directed me to the Committee for Economic Development, which has produced insightful reports and resources that highlight the “spill-over” effects of child care on the broader economy.

The Committee for Economic Development’s Report

One of the most eye-opening resources provided by Simon Workman was the Committee for Economic Development’s report, Child Care in State Economies in 2019. This report meticulously examines the impact of child care on state economies across America. The report goes beyond mere statistics, offering state-specific data that paints a vivid picture of the economic ramifications of the child care crisis.

Moreover, the Committee for Economic Development has a wealth of additional resources on child care, including an insightful infographic titled Paid Child Care Use and U.S. Economic Growth. This infographic outlines the economic benefits that come from increased labor force participation due to affordable child care. These resources make a compelling case for the close relationship between child care and economic health and growth.

Ready Nation’s Recent Report

In February 2023, Ready Nation, in collaboration with the Council for a Strong America, published a report titled $122 Billion: The Growing, Annual Cost of the Infant-Toddler Child Care Crisis – Impact on families, businesses, and taxpayers. This report highlights a shocking revelation: the economic impact of the lack of child care has more than doubled since 2018. It illustrates how the child care crisis affects not only families but also businesses and taxpayers.

The Link between Child Care and Economic Well-being

It is abundantly clear that child care is the linchpin that enables all other work. The “spill-over” effects of child care extend from individual families to the broader U.S. economy. While the evidence supporting the economic case for child care reform has been available for years, it remains a pressing issue that demands immediate attention.

The child care crisis in America is not just a matter of convenience; it is a critical economic issue. As the research and reports discussed and demonstrate, there is a compelling link between child care and economic health and growth. It is our hope that this evidence, which has been presented and available for years, will inspire policymakers to take decisive action to address the child care crisis and invest in the future economic prosperity of our nation. Child care is the foundation that supports all other work, and its importance cannot be underestimated.


Committee for Economic Development

Child Care in State Economies

State Child Care Tax Corner

The Economic Role of Paid Child Care in the U.S. – A Report Series

Action Steps for Business Leaders

Council for a Strong America/Ready Nation

Want to Grow the Economy? Fix the Child Care Crisis – Workers and employers feel the pain in pocketbooks and productivity

$122 Billion: The Growing, Annual Cost of the Infant-Toddler Child Care Crisis – Impact on families, businesses, and taxpayers has more than doubled since 2018

Business Leaders Call on Congress to Fund Programs That Can Help End the Child Care Crisis

The Skills Needed for Successful Employees Today and in the Future Develop in Early Childhood

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids

Sampling of Related News Articles

Emergency child care funding is about to end. Expect more daycares to hike prices, close (USA Today)

Child Care Funding Cliff (PBS NJ)

Child Care Cliff: 3.2 Million Children Likely to Lose Spots with End of Federal Funds (Century Foundation)

America Is About to Fall Off a Child Care Cliff (Bloomberg Opinion Column)

As costs rise, parents may be facing what’s called a child care cliff (NPR)

Experts warn of federal child care funding “cliff” that could have dire consequences when pandemic support expires (CBS News Minnesota)

American Child Care Faces Funding Cliff (NBC)

How the child care cliff could yank back the labor market (Politico)

Impending Child Care Cliff Spells Disaster for Families Just Before 2024 Elections (First Five Years Fund)

Seattle-area child care is scarce, costly and out of reach. Here’s why (Seattle Times)

A Child-care Crisis Is Looming (NY Magazine: Intelligencer)

Why The Child Care Crisis Is Actually An Economic Crisis (Forbes)

America’s Child Care Crunch (ABC News)

What’s behind the US’s worsening child care crisis? (The Hill)

Why the Child Care Crisis Is Actually An Economic Crisis (Forbes)

A Tragically American Approach to the Child-Care Crisis (The Atlantic)

Child care crisis: What costly daycare and fewer workers mean for US economy and taxpayers (USA Today)

Is the child care crisis escalating? (EdSource)

Fixing the child care crisis starts with understanding it (Vox)

The Childcare Crisis Is Getting Worse (The Nation)

The Childcare Crisis (Time)

Child care crisis is causing parents to lose their jobs… (The 19th)

The Child Care Crisis Is Keeping Women Out of the Workforce (The Center for American Progress)

Advocates: Washington’s child care crisis threatens families, economy (Union-Bulletin)

What’s behind America’s child care crisis? (The Week)

The childcare crisis is about to get worse with 3.2 million kids set to lose care this fall (Business Insider)

What To Do About America’s Child Care Crisis (NPR)

Child Care in Crisis (Third Way)

America’s child care crisis: Parents struggle as facilities close nationwide due to staffing shortage (CBS News)

Child Care in Crisis: Can Biden’s Plan Save It? (NY Times)

Worsened by pandemic, child care crisis hampers broader economy (PBS News Hour)

Raising the Future: America’s child care dilemma (PBS News Hour)

Where the Child Care Crisis Is Hitting America the Hardest (U.S. News & World Report)

The Coming Child Care Crisis (Teach for America)

The childcare crisis poses a $122 billion economic threat to the U.S. – and the long-term consequences could be even more dire (Fortune)

As child care costs soar, providers are barely getting by. Is there any fix?

How Child Care Became the Most Broken Business in America

High child care costs, low accessibility leads to smaller Wisconsin families

The True Cost of High-Quality Child Care Across the United States