Child Care and the Economy

Child care is a critical part of the U.S. economy. Safe, high-quality and reliable child care makes it possible for parents to go to work, participate in job training and education, and also makes it possible for parents to look for work and attend interviews. In addition to supporting the employment of millions of parents every day, child care is a significant employer. More than two million people make up the child care workforce and the industry contributes significant revenue for the economy.

Increased investments in early childhood programs are essential today to help the many families grappling with financial and other strains in the current economy. ECEC members operate more than 8,200 child care and early learning centers in 48 states. They see first‐hand every day the difference they make in the lives of families, and the importance of the dollars invested in child care and early education.

“What we are seeing across the board is parents not being able to afford child care and so they are opting to leave children at home alone, or with ill equipped relatives or neighbors. Most parents realize they are leaving safe, school readiness environments and worry about the long-term impacts on their children but can’t afford mortgages and child care or even food and child care.” – ECEC Board Member

ECEC Resources

ECEC 2013 Policy Agenda

Other Helpful Resources & Reports

Subprime Learning: Early Education in America since the Great Recession
The New America Foundation, January 2014

Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2013 Report
Child Care Aware of America, 2013

Unfinished Business: Continued Investment in Child Care and Early Education is Critical to Business and America’s Future
Committee for Economic Development, June 2012