Report | September 26, 2017

How Child Care Contributes to a Productive American Workforce

High-quality, affordable child care supports a productive workforce, both now and into the future.

Two-thirds of American children under age five–more than 15 million children– have both parents or a single parent who works outside the home. Unfortunately, many of these children are not in high-quality child care. This situation is detrimental to current productivity, as working parents and their employers suffer the consequences of unreliable care arrangements. It also puts our future workforce at risk, as children’s brain development during these critical early years informs their cognition, health, and behavior throughout life. Without improvements to the child care system, our nation will not have the workforce we need to be able to compete and succeed in the global marketplace.

Investments in quality child care are essential to support both children’s healthy development and parents’ success in the workplace.

Rose Marcario, President & CEO, Patagonia

This report details the benefits of high-quality child care for the current workforce–realized through increased worker participation, stability and productivity. In addition, quality child care’s impact on children’s academic outcomes bodes well for the development of the future workforce.

Headshot of Cortland County (NY) Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Haight
The business leaders of ReadyNation call on federal, state and local policymakers to support families’ access to affordable, high-quality child care. The federal government supports families’ need for child care through direct funding , as well as through the tax code. State and local governments support child care quality through efforts such as quality rating systems. Businesses provide valuable support as well, through initiatives such as on-site child care, funding for employees or to child care providers, and policy advocacy. Meeting the need for high-quality, affordable child care will require investments from all of these important stakeholders. The yield will be a more productive workforce, both today and tomorrow.

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