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Economy & Business

Child care is an integral pillar to supporting a thriving economy, with 27 million Americans relying on it to work. The national shortage of affordable child care programs is doing significant harm to family finances, businesses’ bottom lines, and the U.S. economy broadly.

Here are five things to know about child care and our economy.

  1. The United States economy loses an estimated $122 billion a year due to child care challenges.
  2. On average, businesses lose $1,640 a year for each working parent due to lost revenue and hiring costs because of insufficient child care, totaling $23 billion annually.
  3.  77% of small business leaders say access to high-quality, affordable child care is essential or important to strengthening the economy and helping workers.
  4. Investments in high-quality child care and early learning programs can generate up to $7.30 per every dollar invested.
  5. The availability of early childhood education programs attracts homebuyers and increases property values by $13 for every dollar invested in programs.

Learn more:


New Employer Child Care Survey from

March 13, 2024

A new survey from finds that child care benefits have become a top priority for employees and employers alike. As Axios sums up, “Child care outranked mental health support, …


Fact Sheet: Child Care and the Economy

March 6, 2024

Affordable access to child care supports a child’s healthy development, ensures parents can go to work or school, and helps businesses and our economy thrive. But millions of American families …


How States Are Using PDG B-5 Grants to Support Career Pathways

December 15, 2023

The BUILD Initiative, ZERO TO THREE, and Start Early, recently released a new brief highlighting the strategies states are using to improve career pathways in their Preschool Development Grant Birth …


The Crucial Role of Early Educators and the Need for Increased Compensation

November 3, 2023

Early educators are underpaid and undervalued for the challenging and important work they do. When determining what factors make an early care and education (ECE) program high quality, it’s the …


Bipartisan Child Care Town Hall with Representatives Bonamici and Hinson

October 26, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The First Five Years Fund (FFYF) hosted Congresswomen Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Ashley Hinson (R-IA) for a town hall to discuss the importance of child care in their …


Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: A Deep Dive Into Dual Language Learners

October 13, 2023

As FFYF commemorates Hispanic Heritage Month, we take a moment to reflect on the remarkable contributions of Latinx communities across the United States.  In recognizing and celebrating our nation’s Latinx …


The Multiple Benefits of Cost Models for Child Care

September 15, 2023

In the early care and education (ECE) policy space, we most often hear the term “cost model” associated with states determining provider reimbursement rates for Child Care and Development Block …


The Promise of Apprenticeships to Strengthen the Child Care Workforce

September 6, 2023

Quality child care and early learning opportunities for young children depend on a well-qualified early care and education (ECE) workforce. The ECE workforce has long been plagued by high turnover, …


FFYF’S 2023 State Fact Sheets

July 31, 2023

Our new analysis of all 50 states and Washington, D.C. shows that child care and early learning programs have tremendous impacts on young children, their families, and the economy at …


GAO Report: Family Child Care Networks

July 25, 2023

Over 7 million children from birth through age 5 are cared for in a family child care (FCC) or home-based setting. Families may choose FCC for a number of reasons: …


New 50 State Analysis Shows Impact of Federal Child Care Program 

May 11, 2023

New analysis of all 50 states and the District of Columbia from First Five Years Fund (FFYF) shows that while the nation’s main federal child care program – the Child …


Video: What is CCDBG?

May 9, 2023

Child care is a necessity for low-income and working parents, yet the cost of quality care often places it out of reach for families. Recognizing that quality child care can …

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