According to the Ventura County Office of Education and Child Care Planning Council, the county is grappling with a shortage of 50,000 childcare facilities. Stakeholders, including investors, can change this scenario by establishing more children’s educational centers. Increasing investment in childcare development investment can stimulate Ventura County’s economic growth in several ways. Keep reading to see why this noble venture is worth your consideration.
The Urgent Need for Affordable Child Care
Today, the U.S. childcare system is costly and inaccessible to many households due to underfunding. Nationwide, families pay an average of $8,355 annually per child for these services. It’s much more challenging for families taking an infant and a four-year-old baby to preschool–they pay more for child care than the median rental fee in most states. These prohibitive costs prevent many parents from accessing quality programs that suit their needs. To meet the growing demand in Ventura County for affordable early childhood education, the county should increase investment in child care development.
Affordable Child Care Boosts the Labor Force and Economy
The economy suffers in various ways when many parents cannot afford the high cost of child care. For many families, this vital service is so out of reach or costly that parents are forced to stop working to take care of their little ones themselves. In 2016, about 2 million parents, most of them mothers, quit working or declined job offers due to childcare responsibilities. Reversing this trend enables more women to participate actively in the economy, driving higher economic growth. Likewise, affordable child care allows families to save more of their household income for other essential expenses.
Quality Child Care Helps Create High-Income Earners
According to research, childcare development can yield returns as high as $7 to $12 for each invested dollar. These programs establish a solid foundation for a better education, which produces professionals with great potential for high income. Numerous studies show that such investments have an intergenerational impact, as children with a quality early childhood education are more likely to succeed later in life. By creating stable, well-paying jobs, preschool indirectly benefits the community by helping limit crime rates. Limiting crime rates the community to spend more dollars on economic empowerment and less on costly correctional or social service programs.
Key Takeaway: Child Care Investment Helps Accelerate Future Economic Growth
Creating affordable preschool programs helps generate immediate and long-term economic benefits. It allows more parents, especially mothers, to quickly return to work and play an essential role in the labor force. Also, any community that injects sufficient capital into childcare development is, in essence, investing in its future labor supply. That’s because beneficiaries of such an education system often grow up to become better-educated and responsible adults with well-paying careers.
Are you a small business, nonprofit, private developer, public entity, or school district looking to invest in childcare services in Ventura County? The Economic Development Collaborative can give free advice on getting your investment off the ground, including how to accessing the Child Care Investment Loan Fund. Contact us today to learn more!