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At The Childcare Innovation Lab, we strive to build a more vibrant and inclusive economy by making NYC a leader in the future of care and home to a thriving childcare innovation sector.

Childcare is an urgent economic challenge and a market ripe for innovation. Without adequate childcare, parental—especially maternal—employment is stunted, businesses suffer, and economic growth is dampened.

We’re calling on policymakers, businesses, and innovators to own the childcare crisis and take action—to reimagine a future of care that is designed to meet the diverse needs of families. By making key investments in creative care models, market-based solutions, and public-private partnerships that expand access to care, we can change childcare paradigms in NYC and beyond.

The NYC Childcare Crisis

Lack of accessible, affordable, quality childcare that parallels work hours has long impacted the economic wellbeing of households, businesses, and the economy at large. And the pandemic pushed an already fragile childcare system to the brink of collapse, making childcare further inaccessible to many.

For Households

  • Pre-COVID, the labor force participation rate of NYC women with young kids was under 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.

For Businesses

  • Pre COVID, US businesses lost $12.7B a year to childcare challenges.
  • Replacing an employee can cost businesses up to 2X their salary.
  • Caregivers value childcare at the same level as salary, equity, paid time off and healthcare when looking at a new role.
  • 86% of parents report childcare issues hurt their productivity at work.

For the Economy

  • The US Economy loses $57B a year in earnings, productivity, and revenue due to the childcare crisis.
  • We estimate that 375K parents in NYC left or downshifted jobs due to lack of access to childcare during fiscal year 2022, resulting in an estimated $23B in economic output, $5.99B less in disposable income and ~$2.2B (3.7%) less to City tax revenues.
Woman with baby son in kitchen

A Crisis for Working Women and Mothers

Making the Case for Childcare at the Core of Economic Recovery in NYC.

Read Our Report

The Root of the Crisis

The childcare crisis is a market failure: Parents are spending a large portion of their income on care, but this is still not enough to cover the costs of care. As a result, childcare businesses have low or no profit margins—which leads to low wages for staff, insufficient seats for children, and inconsistent quality. Here’s what policymakers can do to address the root of the crisis.

By the Numbers


The amount lost each year by US employers pre-pandemic due the impacts of childcare challenges.

Actions for Employers

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—all of which are affected by access to childcare (or lack thereof).

A Toolkit for Employers

Our Childcare Toolkit for NYC Employers, "Toward 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 that has a clear ROI.

Mother working from home while daughters homeschool.

Toward a Working Future

A childcare toolkit for New York city employers.

Access the Toolkit
Resources for Employers
To access, click on the + button to view more.
  • Calculating ROI for Childcare
  • Conducting a Childcare Needs Assessment
  • FamTech Taxonomy
  • NYCEDC Employer Roundtable with Luminary January 26, 2023
  • NYC Childcare Business Income Tax Credit
  • NYC Childcare Center Property Tax Abatement
  • National Business Coalition for Childcare Overview FY23

Actions for Innovators

The Childcare Innovation Lab, in partnership with, helps support a new generation of entrepreneurs developing care solutions that pave the way toward a new paradigm for family life.

By the Numbers


The size of the care economy market.

The care economy is a $648B market that will continue to expand as demand for care services grows. Families face increased pressure to negotiate work and care demands and are seeking novel solutions that not only help them survive but enable them to thrive.

A Need for Novel Solutions

While expanding accessible formal care for infants and toddlers is a critical piece of the puzzle that we support, the K-12 model of six hours of care a day cannot fully meet the diverse needs of caregivers. There remains an immense need to create care solutions that parallel the full-time, year-round realities of the labor force. In other words, while policy is essential, it is not enough.

A new generation of products and services will enable caregivers to participate in a year-round, full-time labor force, pursue workforce development training towards better jobs, improve mental health and achieve multi-generational economic mobility all while improving economic outcomes for businesses and society at large. We look forward to working with entrepreneurs acting on this immense opportunity to imagine and pave the way toward a different future of care.

  • If you are interested in being added to our innovator list, fill out our care innovator survey
  • To learn more about childcare innovation and FamTech solutions, visit
  • Accessible, Equitable, High-quality, Affordable A blueprint for child care & early childhood education in New York City.
  • A Crisis for Working Women and Mothers Making the case for childcare at the core of economic recovery in NYC.
  • Toward a Working Future A childcare toolkit for New York City employers.

Get in Touch

Contact: [email protected]

Interested in joining the Innovation Network? Attending future programming? Building public/private partnerships?