Your recent editorial, “Lack of child care holding back families,” aptly described the stress that working parents feel when they struggle to find affordable, high-quality infant and toddler child care. In many cases, their bosses are feeling real pain as well.

That’s the key takeaway from a January report from the ReadyNation business leader group, “Want to Grow the Economy? Fix the Child Care Crisis.” Based on new research, the report is among the first to determine the financial impact of the crisis on working families, businesses and taxpayers.

It’s a big number — $57 billion each year. As president of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, I’m especially concerned about the $13 billion employers lose in lower revenues and lower productivity when workers struggle to find child care — and the extra hiring costs when parents drop out of the workforce because of that struggle.

The report also found eight percent of working parents had actually been fired and 13 percent reprimanded because they struggled to find quality child care. That’s more bad news for employers, and more reason for lawmakers to do more to help working families afford quality care.

Kimberly Lindlof
president and CEO
Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce

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