We Must Reimagine Child Care to Rebuild our Economy
Child care is the work that makes working possible for many families in New Jersey. High-quality child care allows parents to go to work and school, knowing that their infants and toddlers will be nurtured and educated in a safe, caring and licensed environment.
But since the beginning of the pandemic, parents with infants and toddlers are struggling to remain in the workforce while caring for their kids.
Without child care, parents with jobs must also take on the role of educator, caregiver, and full-time employee, and our kids and the economy are suffering as a result:
- Nationally, businesses lose $13 billion a year in reduced revenue and extra hiring costs because of insufficient child care.
- 30% of parents of infants and toddlers in New Jersey quit their jobs or cut back hours to care for children during COVID.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, 6 times more women than men have left the workforce to help manage child care. This can widen the gender pay gap and make it much more difficult for these parents to re-enter the workforce.
- New Jersey’s licensed child care centers lack capacity for about 73 percent of the infants and toddlers likely to need care, and a report from ReadyNation estimates that the lack of licensed child care for working parents of infants and toddlers could cost New Jersey’s economy $1.7 billion per year, stemming from lost earnings, productivity and revenue.
If we want to see New Jersey’s economy recover from COVID and thrive in the future, we must create a child care system that can meet the needs of children and parents.
The #ReimagineChildCare campaign is calling on lawmakers to improve the quality and affordability of child care for infants and toddlers, expand the supply of quality infant-toddler child care, and make sure that the child care providers we depend on to care for our children are provided livable wages and the resources they need to do their jobs well.
We can build a child care system that works for everyone—for children, parents, providers and employers—join us as we reimagine child care in New Jersey and ensure that our state can thrive for years to come.