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Insufficient childcare coverage is costing Michigan billions in lost economic activity

U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Report surveying more than 500 Michigan parents reveals childcare gaps driving parents out of workforce.

Research by the U.S Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Grand Rapids and Michigan Chambers of Commerce and the Early Childhood Investment Corporation produced a report titled, Untapped Potential in Michigan: How Childcare Impacts Michigan’s Workforce Productivity and the Economy. It focuses on the childcare supply and demand gaps and how they drive parents out of the workforce.

A total of 501 parents with children under the age of six were surveyed representing a cross section of racial, ethnic, and income demographics. Some key findings include among parents of children younger than six, 71% pay for childcare and families who pay for any form of childcare spend on average $672 per month. Families typically pay for childcare out of their personal budget 58% of the time. This often places an undue financial burden on the most economically vulnerable families.

The study finds that childcare-related employee turnover and absenteeism costs Michigan employers an estimated $2.3 billion per year and that leads to Michigan missing out on an estimated $576 million annually in tax revenue due to childcare issues. Add it up, and the state loses $2.88 billion annually in lost economic activity.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.