Early care and education enables parents to work and businesses to thrive; enables future economic success; is a significant industry in its own right; and is important to successful economic development. (The National Economic Development and Law center for North Carolina, 2008)
The child care industry is vital to North Carolina’s economy.
Child care industry generates $1.77 billion annually in gross receipts—more than all spectator sports, or advertising offices, and medical and diagnostic labs.
Child care industry directly supports more than 47,000 jobs—more than real estate, management consulting services, and travel accommodation industries.
Early care and education industry has the capacity to serve 413,000 children at any one time— 60 percent of all children between birth and age 5 in North Carolina.
In North Carolina, one in ten workers has a child under age 6. Families with children under age 6 using licensed early care and education programs have a combined income of $6.4 billion. A significant portion of their income goes to child care. The average cost of child care for an infant is $13,000 in urban counties and $9,000 in rural counties. The average cost of child care for a 3-year-old is $6,000. That is more than most in-state college tuition.
Productivity is essential for a business to succeed. Studies examining the ties between child care and employee productivity find that unplanned absences cost businesses a significant amount of money (on average, $60,000 for a small business). The average working parent will miss nine days of work because of child care concerns.
The child care industry increases the success of other industries in the state and enables future economic success in North Carolina.
Video: Brain Architecture
Video: Economic Impact
Links to additional information:
Child Care Services- Child Care Services Association advocates for child care services at the local, state and national level to ensure affordable, accessible, high quality child care for all families. Their website has information and research for families, child care businesses, and providers.
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute- Frank Porter Graham is a nationally recognized center for studying young children and their families. They served as the researchers of the Abecedarian Project the results of which are often cited as part of the economic impact and return on investment discussion related to the importance of quality early childcare.
North Carolina Action for Children- Action for Children has information on legislative actions as well as research and data on early care, children’s health and family economic security.
Committee for Economic Development- The CED website offers extensive information on their work in the area of early education and the economic impact of investments in early care.
Corporate Voices for Working Families- This nonprofit is a national business membership organization that aims to improve the lives of all working families by encouraging dialogue on public policy issues involving working families.
Families and Work Institute- This nonprofit center conducts research on the changing workplace, family and community. Since 1989, efforts have focused on four major areas: the workforce and workplace; education, care and community; parenting; and youth development.
Partnership for America's Economic Success- This consortium of funders and experts conduct research and gather information as part of an effort to build the evidence base for the economic benefits of investing in young children.
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Lee County Partnership for Children List