U.S. Employers Lose $3 Billion Each Year Due to Employee Absences Related to Child Care

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New National Social Media Toolkit Supports Business Leaders Who Want to Advocate to #SolveChildCare

As conversations on how and whether to support infants and toddlers and their families continue every day, talking about child care—an issue that impacts millions of infants, children, parents, educators, businesses, and the economy— has never been more important.

In order to give infants and toddlers a strong start to shape their futures and the futures of their communities, families need access to high-quality, affordable early childhood education from the very beginning. However, a lack of public funding has set our child care system up for failure. 

Infant and toddler care can cost anywhere from 29.3 percent to 93.8 percent of a family’s income, depending on where the family lives. Additionally, over half of all families who want access to child care live in child care deserts—places where child care providers are widely unavailable due to high demand and low supply. In North Carolina alone, 99 of 100 counties were infant and toddler child care deserts, even before the pandemic.

Early childhood educators who care for children at such a critical time in their lives and development deserve professional wages and benefits. However, North Carolina child care teachers make an average of $12 per hour, and child care teachers are seven times more likely to live in poverty than public school teachers. Providers are leaving the field and early childhood education programs are closing down at high rates—a trend made worse by the pandemic—leaving many children without the care they need and many parents with no good options.

But the child care crisis is not solely a family or child care provider issue. An estimated $217 billion may be lost in the United States from a single year of parents not having access to the child care they need. U.S. businesses lose approximately $3 billion annually due to employee absenteeism from child care issues. In North Carolina, families, businesses and the state economy lost $2.4 billion each year due to inadequate child care before the pandemic.

Child care affects us all. And in order to allow babies, their families, and our communities to thrive, we must make affordable, high-quality child care more accessible. 

This is where you come in. Please use this social media toolkit to start conversations about why families, educators, and businesses need to work together to #SolveChildCare. You’ll find graphics, customizable social media prompts, sample social media posts, and an email for you to customize and share with your networks. Your following on social media is a powerful tool, and your posts are major influencers in organizing and educating communities on child care and other important issues. 

Early childhood education gaps affect all of us. Help audiences understand why it’s necessary to #SolveChildCare.