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Promoting jobs and a stronger economy

In Pennsylvania, approximately 60% of children under age six need some form of child care as their parents work, and nearly 10% of Pennsylvania’s K-12 children participate in school-age programs. The quality of this care impacts parents’ reliability at work, children’s cognitive and social development, and the quality of our future workforce.

Access to affordable, quality early education has an immediate impact on our workforce:

  • Families with access to child care assistance like Child Care Works are up to 15% more likely to be employed, be more productive at work, stay off welfare, and have higher earnings.
  • Employee absences due to child care breakdowns cost U.S. business approximately $3 billion in 1998.
  • Accessibility to an early childhood program is a key factor in parents earning higher education degrees and job training to remain competitive.
  • Because parents can remain in the workforce when their children are young and continue to gain job skills, they can experience a long-term earnings increase up to 30% even after their children leave early care and education.

To prepare today’s children for tomorrow’s workforce, they need access to quality early education.

For most jobs, a high school diploma is no longer sufficient. Sixty-three percent of jobs in the next decade will require some post-secondary education.

Children that participate in quality early care and education are more likely to enter kindergarten with the necessary skills and:

  • Are less likely to require costly special education and remediation services;
  • Are more likely to do well in school, graduate, and attend college or career training; and
  • Are more likely to be employed and have higher earnings.

Nobel Laureate and nationally recognized economist James Heckman says, “Data from economists, social scientists and medical experts conclusively show that the answer [to best invest in human capital development to increase workforce capabilities] is to invest in comprehensive early childhood development – from birth to age five – particularly in disadvantaged children and their families.”

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