Childcare is at once an urgent economic challenge and a $260B piece of a $648B care economy market that is ripe for innovation. Without adequate childcare, parental—and especially maternal—employment is stunted, businesses suffer, and economic growth is dampened.
The time is ripe to reimagine a future of care that is designed to meet the diverse needs of families. By making key investments to creative care models, market-based solutions, and public-private partnerships that expand access to care, we can change childcare paradigms in NYC and beyond.
At The Childcare Innovation Lab, we strive to build a more vibrant and inclusive economy by making NYC the leading actor on Future of Care and home to a thriving Childcare Innovation sector.
- Researching childcare as economic infrastructure
- Catalyzing public and private sector solutions to the childcare crisis
- Supporting innovative approaches to the future of care, including growing NYC’s FamTech sector
A Crisis for Working Women and Mothers
Making the Case for Childcare at the Core of Economic Recovery in NYC.Read Our Report
The NYC Childcare Crisis
Lack of accessible, affordable, quality childcare that parallels labor force hours has long impacted the economic well-being of families, businesses, and the economy at large. The pandemic pushed an already fragile childcare system to the brink of collapse, making childcare further inaccessible to many.
- Pre-Covid, the labor force participation rate of NYC women with young kids was <70%. Women face dire income and wealth losses upon exiting the workforce . A woman making $57K a year who leaves the workforce until her child turns three will lose over $480K over her lifetime.
- In NYC, moms face a motherhood penalty, earning 86 cents/dollar earned by non-mothers, while dads get a fatherhood premium at $1.03/dollar earned by non-fathers.
- Pre Covid, US businesses lost $12.7B a year to childcare challenges and since pandemic, US Chamber of Commerce has received hundreds of queries from businesses seeking childcare strategies.
- Even pre-pandemic, US Economy loses $57B in lost earnings, productivity, and revenue due to the childcare crisis. The Lab estimates that 375K parents left or downshifted jobs due to lack of access to childcare during Covid. In FY2022 alone, this resulted in an estimated $23B less in economic output, a $5.9B decrease in disposable income and $2.2B less in tax revenues.
How Employers Can Support Childcare
For employers, high-quality childcare is a smart investment. It supports the workforce of today, while laying foundations for the success of the future workforce. New family-friendly policies improve key business metrics such as talent attraction, retention, productivity and diversity.
The Lab’s Childcare Toolkit for NYC Employers, "Towards a Working Future”, outlines concrete ways employers can support caregiver employees by deploying a childcare strategy that is employee-centered , data- driven , innovative , customizable and which has a clear ROI . Actions include creating a caregiver-friendly culture, helping employees defray the cost of care, securing and creating new childcare seats and customizing employee benefits to fit company needs. We look forward to working with employer partners to advance solutions to the care crisis. This toolkit was part of Mayor Adams’ "Blueprint for Childcare and Early Childhood in New York City."
- Caregivers value childcare at the same level as salary, equity, PTO and healthcare when seeking a new role.
- Over 80% of parents to kids 0-5 said childcare benefits would be an important factor in retention
- Over 70% of working caregivers said that better childcare would make them more productive.
- Underrepresented racial groups are more likely to be parents and experience burnout than their white counterparts. When companies address unique reasons for burnout, employees are 20X more likely to intend to stay at their job.
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Interested in participating in future programming? A business leader interested in building public/private partnerships?