Amy Anderson with Association of Washington Business (AWB) presented updates and statistics on the crisis of Affordable Childcare in Washington State at the Chamber's What's for Lunch event on August 21st. Click HERE to review the presentation slides.
In 2018 The Child Care Collaborative Task Force was developed to recommend policies that would “incentivize employer-supported childcare and improve childcare access and affordability for employees. Legislation passed in 2019 extended the task force and expanded its scope of work, which will culminate in a June 2021 implementation plan to achieve accessible, affordable childcare for all Washington families by 2025.”
The AWB surveyed employers and found that 67% of employers noted that childcare issues were the leading cause in absenteeism. In 2017 employers estimated $2.08 billion costs in employee turnovers and lost productivity due to missed work. Chelan County has an estimate of 26% of families who live in “Childcare Desert” areas and 28% in Douglas County. “Childcare Desert” areas are areas that have an insufficient supply of licensed childcare. Chelan County has also seen a 19.63% decline in childcare capacity as of June 2020.
During the conversation, local childcare centers discussed the difficulties in reopening noting that staffing issues, requirements for newly hired staff and lack of resources have made it challenging to reopen safely.
Washington Child Care Collaborative Task Force. (2020, August 20). Retrieved August, 2020, from https://www.commerce.wa.gov/about-us/boards-and-commissions/child-care-collaborative-task-force/