Maine Business Leaders Share the Cost of the Child Care Crisis
ReadyNation members released a new report in Maine detailing the economic impact of the infant-toddler child care crisis
Maine’s working parents know how difficult it is to find child care that’s accessible, affordable, and high-quality. The lack of infant-toddler child care also costs the state an estimated $403 million each year in lost productivity, revenue, and earnings. Maine ReadyNation members Quincy Hentzel, CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Tony Payne, Vice President of MEMIC, released the latest ReadyNation research report on June 5 to share the impact of the Maine child care crisis on families, businesses, and taxpayers.
“The child care problem is growing at an alarming rate,” said Tony Payne, ReadyNation member and Senior Vice President for External Affairs at MEMIC, a worker’s compensation insurance provider in Portland that employs more than 450 people. “ReadyNation’s new national study found that America’s infant-toddler child care crisis now costs the nation $122 billion in lost earnings, productivity, and revenue every year. And here in Maine, the lack of sufficient child care for young children is estimated to cost $403 million a year - more than double a 2019 estimate of $180 million a year.”
“ReadyNation’s $403 million annual impact estimate doesn’t surprise me. In fact, the real cost of our child care crisis is higher,” said Quincy Hentzel, CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce and Member of ReadyNation. “The estimate only gauges impacts for infants and toddlers, and we all know that there’s a greater need for child care than just for children from birth to 3. It’s another clarion call for action to strengthen the child care system.”
The report also noted that 22% of Mainers live in a child care “desert,” meaning there are more than three children under age five for each available child care slot. In addition to the lack of slots, infant-toddler care, on average, costs parents an estimated $11,960 per year, more expensive than the cost of in-state college tuition.