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October 30, 2018

Opportunities Lost: How Child Care Challenges Affect Georgia's Workforce & Economy

Georgia is leaving almost $2 billion on the economic table according to a new report out today. The Metro Atlanta Chamber and the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (G.E.E.A.R.S.) issued a new report today that looked at the economic impact that child care issues are having on the state.

Based on similar work in Louisiana and Maryland, Opportunities Lost: How Child Care Challenges Affect Georgia’s Workforce and Economy shows clear barriers to workforce participation and education particularly for women, single parents, low-income households and families in south Georgia.

Noting that Georgia is losing about $1.75 billion in economic activity per year just in work absences and quitting/firing due to child care, Tim Cairl, Director of Education Policy at the Metro Atlanta Chamber states “There are real costs to these child care challenges, and Georgia is seeing this economic loss in state revenue of at least $105 million per year”.

The survey of 400 parents of children under the age of 5 was conducted in May and June of 2018 and outlines a number of areas that impact Georgia’s economy. “The impact estimates we’ve developed are fairly conservative given that certain factors like missing school and work training programs don’t have an exact economic weight that can be applied to determine costs to the state” says Tom Cunningham, Chief Economist at the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

More reports are expected to be generated from Opportunities Lost (link to report) including a look at the cost specific to public and private employers when employees are having issues with child care and possible employer and state policies that can mitigate these challenges. 

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