Harrisburg, PA – United Way of Pennsylvania (UWP) in partnership with the Early Learning Investment Commission (ELIC) releases a report which demonstrates that both employers and workers recognize child care is essential to Pennsylvania’s economic rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Child Care is Essential for Working Families and Businesses report combines the results from ELIC’s survey of business leaders in Pennsylvania, and UWP’s survey of households, both conducted earlier in 2021.
“Lack of accessible, affordable, and high quality child care has inhibited Pennsylvania’s economic recovery. This is clearly demonstrated through the perspectives of both businesses and the workforce in this new report,” said Kristen Rotz, President of United Way of Pennsylvania and Executive Director of PA 211.
The Child Care is Essential for Working Families and Businesses report indicates that 45% of respondents with families had to adjust their work to accommodate their child care needs. Juggling work and child care needs were among the top concerns of respondents to a COVID-19 impact survey UWP conducted in March 2021. Financially-strained working families known as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), did not have adequate support during the pandemic to balance work and their children’s needs. This resulted in parents reducing hours or resigning from jobs to care for their children.
More than half (54 percent) of employers believe they lost employees due to a lack of child care during the pandemic. This is based on a sample of businesses participating in a business survey, which was a partnership of the Early Learning Investment Commission and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.
“Accessible and affordable high-quality child care is essential for working parents to secure employment, succeed in their job and advance in their careers. Businesses need child care to improve recruitment, retention and productivity of their employees. All of these things help propel Pennsylvania’s pandemic recovery,” Rotz said.
The Child Care is Essential for Working Families and Businesses report includes links to a variety of resources that can help connect families and employers to child care information and assistance, and learn how to become better advocates for working families with child care needs.