Lack of childcare options is holding back the region’s economy

New Regional Economic Strategy will identify ways to expand the region’s childcare system

The COVID-19 pandemic has called out the critical nature of childcare availability for both individual families’ economic outcomes as well as the overall performance of the region’s economy.

A recent report from the Washington Child Care Collaborative Task Force highlights that lack of access to affordable childcare keeps over 133,000 potential workers out of Washington’s labor force. According to the report, lack of childcare has resulted in a loss of an estimated $14.7 billion in personal earnings, $34.8 billion in Gross State Product, and over $1 billion in tax revenue on an annual basis. Over the summer, the task force is expected to release an implementation plan to achieve accessible, affordable childcare for all Washington families by 2025.

The new Regional Economic Strategy will highlight the need to expand the region’s childcare ecosystem. Some identified near-term actions to help address this challenge include working to build a sustainable childcare model with expanded facilities, and exploring a subsidy model for childcare that supports workers, families, and providers.

The Regional Economic Strategy is updated every five years and includes analysis of foundational issues that impact the region’s economy. The update will pay specific attention to how the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic downturn have challenged the region’s childcare ecosystem. The strategy will include a section on improving economic opportunity for the region’s residents.

Find out more about the Regional Economic Strategy and give input on our website.