Unpredictable hours, inflexible schedules, traffic congestion, lack of access: These are just a few of the challenges Atlanta parents face in finding quality, affordable child care in the region.
Parents with young children face significant hurdles in finding quality child care. In a 2018 Georgia survey called Opportunity Lost, led by the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) and the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), parents indicated severe statistics that show significant economic loss to Georgia and its tax revenues. In addition to the $1.75 billion in lost economic activity, deeper issues were uncovered related to challenges for parents at their workplace and school.
Georgia parents miss a significant amount of work or schooling due to child care challenges with 22% of students of young parents missing 10 or more days of school, and almost 20% of parents missed at least one week of work due to problems with child care.
In trying to understand the deeper issues affecting parents and child care, GEEARS & MAC continued their efforts in peeling back the layers of complexity surrounding child care issues by interviewing parents and employers directly to ask them specifically about child care and their school and employer situations. They also interviewed employers with direct questions related to workplace culture, specific challenges in delivering benefits, and how employers themselves approach child care and other family policies. When it comes to child care and family-friendly policies, parents and employers have a lot to say. Family-friendly policies range across a wide variety of benefits inlcuding paid family leave, adoption support, flexible work times, predicatble scheduling, and paid-time-off allowances for child support. GEEARS and MAC will be unveiling their findings over the next year in a series of community meetings and social media releases. To stay up-to-date on this new information, and to share with your own networks, please follow MAC and GEEARS on twitter, and stay tuned to MAC's Policy Blog for upcoming information.