Report | March 27, 2018

Child Care Contributes to a Productive Illinois Workforce

New report details the significance of child care to working families, their employees, and the state's economy

It’s not difficult to connect the dots between high-quality child care and a strong business climate – and a new report from ReadyNation Illinois demonstrates why.

It cites a national survey in which one in seven respondents reported that, during the previous year, child care problems prompted someone in their family to either quit a job, forego taking a job, or change a job. Another national study found that parents struggling with child care issues wind-up taking an average of five to nine days off work, annually, to deal with those challenges. That study put a $3 billion price tag on the resulting costs of lost productivity for American employers.

The fact is, reliable and affordable child care are essential to workforce stability today, and to shaping the quality of our workforce tomorrow. The new report illustrates the importance of ensuring good early childhood programs are available to help kids at the most fundamental stage of their brain development – from birth to age 5 – to lay a foundation for success in school, careers, and beyond.

High-quality child care … helps today’s working parents to maintain their jobs, while also helping to support the development of children, who are tomorrow’s workforce.

Jeff Griffin, President, Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce

Headshot of ReadyNation member Jeff Griffin (IL)

Nowhere is this more significant than Illinois, where 70 percent of young children live in households where all available parents are participating in the workforce – about 627,000 children, in all. Although parents are children’s first and best caregivers, they often need to turn to child care for help during working hours.

Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program has faced challenges in recent years, but ReadyNation’s network of business leaders is committed to strengthening its assistance for struggling families. This includes helping ensure that working parents are aware of the options for which they could be eligible.

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