Employers have an important stake in the first 1,000 days. Workforce begins early and Florida’s future economy depends on our investment in early learning. In fact, research shows that 80 percent of brain development happens before age 5. During this time of rapid brain growth, the environment of a child has a great influence on the development of cognitive and emotional skills. Addressing child care, health, and parenting now means a payoff later with a future workforce that has had a better start in life. It makes good business sense: Invest wisely on the front end in order to generate a good product on the back end.
The Economics of Early Childhood Development
Early child development impacts Florida’s economy in three ways:
- The Child Care sector is the source of early care and education for nearly 700,000 children in Florida, preparing them for future success in school and work.
- Child care is an important workforce support for parents and their employers. In Florida, 62 percent of mothers with children under age 3 are in the labor force.
- Child care is a viable industry in its own right, with nearly 7,000 center-based programs generating millions in annual revenues and creating thousands of jobs.
According to Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC), a Colorado coalition of business leaders, business support for early childhood development can:
- Improve the future workforce.
- Reduce employee absenteeism and tardiness.
- Reduce employee turnover.
- Help employers recruit and retain the best possible employees.
- Increase employee productivity.
- Improve a business’s public image.
How Businesses Can Support Early Child Development
EPIC identifies four ways businesses can support early child development:
- Increasing access to quality child care
- Supporting affordable child care
- Developing child-friendly policies and procedures
- Optimizing tax benefits
Is your business doing everything it can to help meet early childhood needs? These tools from the EPIC Early Childhood Development Toolkit for Employers can help you evaluate how well your company currently supports your employees’ families’ early child development needs, inform you of the ways in which your employees could benefit from better policies, and help you understand the risks and rewards of changing your policies.