State Lawmakers Tackle Childcare Access, Costs
The state legislature’s Public Health and Children committees heard testimony this week regarding legislation increasing funding for childcare programs and expanding preschool, mental and behavioral health, and child mentoring programs and services.
SB 2 addresses child care accessibility and cost problems that existed prior to the pandemic, which has exacerbated a range of issues impacting families and employers across the state.
According to a recent Ready Nation report, working parents lose on average $3,350 in lost earnings, reduced productivity and lost time looking for work due to inadequate child care offerings.
In return, employers lost $1,150 annually per working parent in lost revenue and added recruitment costs.
Connecticut employers adapted over the last two years, expanding flexible scheduling and remote work, promoting vaccines, maintaining safe workplaces, and reducing employee hours.
Labor Shortage Crisis
Childcare challenges are among the many contributing factors behind the state’s labor shortage crisis, and CBIA’s Wyatt Bosworth says the organization supports solutions such as those proposed in SB 2.
According to a recent survey by the Connecticut Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, 76 percent of employers said childcare negatively impacts up to 20 percent of their workforce.
Another 17 percent reported that childcare negatively impacted between 20 percent and 40 percent of their workforce.
While employers will continue to enact policies to ease the burden on working parents, additional help is needed to make childcare more affordable and accessible.
A recent poll released by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance found that 89 percent of childcare respondents reported difficulty hiring staff in the past six months.
More than 80 percent of respondents also noted that those staff vacancies persisted long before the pandemic.
According to state estimates from 2019, 9.5 percent of Connecticut parents quit a job, did not take a job, or greatly changed their job because of childcare problems—19th highest in the nation.
Improving childcare access and affordability is key to getting people back to work and rebuilding the state’s economy.
CBIA looks forward to working with lawmakers to stabilize childcare, invest in making Connecticut the nation’s most family-friendly state, and give working parents more flexibility to return to work.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Wyatt Bosworth (860.244.1155) | @WyattBosworthCT
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