Empowering Mississippi's Female Workforce by Supporting Child Care
Child care scarcities impact the Mississippi workforce
Mississippi moms have been ready to cast off the isolation and separation created by COVID and get back to work full-time. The challenge of balancing their work schedules with child care is front and center.
In these difficult times, the COVID-19 health emergency has affected every aspect of our lives. Small businesses are pressing forward with the recovery, relying on their communities to help them locate employees and remain in business. The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of high-quality child care to an unprecedented degree. Simply put, access to affordable, quality child care plays a vital role in our economy’s recovery.
If we want women to contribute to Mississippi’s economy we need to see child care as the essential ingredient to bringing them into our workplaces and keeping them there.
Paula McNair, Vice President, Finance, Atmos Energy
The connection to that recovery is clear: Women are more likely to be in frontline jobs, and many face significant challenges that prevent them from returning to work. Child care is critical to supporting working women now and to enabling those who have left the workforce to get back to work.
Child care is not only tied to our state’s economy but to the development of our state’s children. Working mothers can be more present and productive in the workplace knowing that their children are in a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment.
Meanwhile, their children are also getting the tools they need to succeed later in education, work, and life. Research shows that high-quality support in the earliest years can help lay a foundation for cognitive and social-emotional development. These foundational skills can put children on a path to achieve better outcomes in school and life.
A lack of affordable, high-quality care is the biggest challenge for many mothers. Working mothers must receive support. Providing care for children and their working parents is a top priority to help our state thrive.