Giving to Quality Early Care and Education
thread works with and supports thousands of Alaska’s families and early educators by providing resources like teaching materials and books, family friendly events and high quality training for early educators. We invite you to join us in supporting quality early care and education for Alaska’s children.
It's so easy.
Why Quality Early Care & Learning Matters to Business
In Alaska, early care & learning is connected to healthy families and communities. The first connection is through a workforce of 7,700 early educators working with Alaska children and families statewide. The second is supporting working families: the availability of affordable, high-quality early care and learning services allows parents to remain in the workforce as well as helps employers retain employees. The Economics of Early Care & Learning in Alaska 2015 Report Summary estimates 15 percent of Alaska’s resident workforce uses child care.
In order to thrive, businesses in Alaska need a strong competitive workforce. High quality early care and education programs help support the current Alaska workforce while investing in workforce of tomorrow. Research has shown that businesses that help their employees find high quality early care and education programs benefit from improved recruitment, increased employee productivity, fewer absences, improved employee/employer relations, higher retention rates, and better community relations.
In Alaska the “Brain Drain” is a real challenge for many employers. As high quality early care and education programs are hard to find, many young families are choosing to move to more family friendly communities in the lower 48 or are leaving the workforce altogether. This can be a challenge for many employers who are constantly looking for a highly skilled workforce. On the other hand, many parents who choose to work are unable to focus at work because they are continually dealing with child care breakdowns due to a lack of quality options. Research shows that higher quality early care and education programs can result in increased productivity for parents as their program is more reliable.
High-quality early care & learning programs not only enable many parents to remain in the workforce, it provides a good return on investment! The Global economy is real and many jobs are being outsourced to less expensive, more highly qualified workforces in other countries. Studies have shown the vast achievement gap that occurs between children who receive high quality early care and education services and those who don’t. The Perry Preschool Study, a 40 year longitudinal study that followed 123 children from Michigan found that kids who received high quality early childhood education were less likely to drop out of school, to go to jail, or need special education services. Furthermore, they were more likely to attend college and they had better paying jobs and after 40 years. Tax payers saved $17 on every dollar that was invested into early care and education services for those kids.
What Can the Business Community Do to Take Action?
*1. Support a mixed provider delivery system. Whether early childhood programs are
2. Encourage early learning system and K–12 alignment. Too often, children are
3. Promote early learning policies as part of the economic development agenda.
4. Encourage the inclusion of early childhood data in the statewide longitudinal
5. Encourage your state to adopt a Quality Rating Information System (QRIS).
6. Encourage business organizations and networks to adopt a policy position
*Insitute for a Competitive Workforce & the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
thread partners with Alaska business by:
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