If not, it should be. This editorial from the Herald Sun shows why quality child care is so important to the economy . . .
Let’s figure out the child care problem.
The Kellogg Foundation funded a 2004 report, “The Economic Impact of the Child Care Industry in North Carolina” that highlighted statistics that should make economic development leaders and business owners sit up and take notice:
– In North Carolina, one in 10 workers has a child under the age of 6, and about a quarter of the unscheduled absences in every industry are related to child care needs.
– Employee turnover costs about 1.5 times an employee’s salary, but employees who receive child care benefits are half as likely to leave their jobs.
– And child care is big business of its own, generating $1.5 billion in North Carolina each year and providing more than 46,000 jobs.
Child care is a critical issue, not just for families, but communities and their economic well-being.
There is a particularly pervasive argument that suggests one parent should stay home to offset the spiraling cost of child care — which, because of regulations and operating costs, often exceeds the cost of undergraduate tuition at state universities.
Because it is often the mother who is encouraged or expected to stay home, child care has often been treated as a matter of choice, an expense and industry that serves middle income careerists.
That’s a fallacy. For single and low-earning parents who cannot sacrifice income, child care is a necessity. Even in homes where a single parent’s salary goes entirely or in large part to child care costs, the expense is offset by the need for parents to stay at work in order to remain employable and increase their earnings over a lifetime — earnings that will be needed to pay for the college tuition on the other end of the spectrum.
Child care isn’t a pink collar issue and it has to come off of the back burner for both the city and the state.
Read the rest of the Herald Sun editorial.