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April 11, 2018

Early childhood investments pay off for employers

By: Andrew Lenderman   Comments: 0

Investing in early childhood education can pay dividends for employers years down the road — and right away.

That’s why AWB and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation have partnered to present the Early Childhood Learning Event at the Seattle Airport Marriott April 17. (Information and tickets are here.) Educators, employers and state officials will make the business case for investing in early childhood learning, which includes childcare, at this event.

While welcoming a child to the world is a joyous time, it’s also challenging for parents and employers. Families can lose half their wages, or more. Companies can lose productivity, and their investments in training.

These challenges give Washington employers an opportunity to invest in early childhood learning and create innovative solutions that help the current and future workforce.

Those that succeed will attract talented workers, boost productivity and stay competitive.

Speakers include Michele Beehler of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, where company officials have created an on-site childcare facility. Attendees will also hear from Secretary Ross Hunter of the state Department of Children, Youth and Families, state lawmakers and national experts who will offer insights into what’s happening around the country on this issue.

The chamber’s research offers insights into how this impacts families and employers, including:

  • Forty percent of businesses can’t take on more work because they can’t fill the jobs they have
  • Seventy-four percent of working parents say their jobs have been impacted by childcare problems
  • When companies provide childcare, employee absences decrease by as much as 30 percent, and turnover declines as much as 60 percent
  • Childcare problems cost businesses $3 billion a year
  • Almost two-thirds of women with children under 5-years-old work outside the home
  • Eighty-three percent of millennials say they would leave their job for one with more family-friendly benefits

“By considering how you can invest in childcare for the broader community,” a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce report says, “you are sending a clear message to your community, employees, and consumers about the type of culture you are creating and your dedication to the families that keep your lights on.”