Joining Forces to Mobilize Business on Early Childhood Education

April 25, 2019

Takeaways

The goal was to educate the business community on their role in early ed and give them real steps to take to engage.
We’re not asking businesses to get in the business of childcare.

On Wednesday, April 17, the U.S. Chamber Foundation co-hosted #LeadingonEarlyEd, a Twitter chat with Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) to engage a broad audience in a conversation about early childhood education as a critical workforce issue. The goal of the chat was to have a focused discussion with individuals, advocates, and employers across the country where we could all collectively share the data, stories, and research behind this two-generation challenge. We were thrilled with the turnout!

To those who know the Chamber Foundation, you know that we approach early childhood education as a workforce issue from both the perspectives of the parents/caregivers and their children.

Affordable access to early childhood education is a barrier to enter, re-enter, or stay in the workforce for parents and caregivers, who are our workforce of today. We also want to ensure that our young children, who make up the workforce we will rely on tomorrow, have the skills and supports they need to succeed. 

These two different generations are directly impacted by the decisions we make today on early childhood education and we will see those impacts for years to come. 

The goal of this chat was to educate business leaders on the role they play in this conversation as a strong voice in the community, a driver for policy, and the decision-maker when it comes to how they support their workforce. A second goal was to help those business leaders understand what their path to action could look like.

We’re not asking businesses to get in the business of childcare. We are asking all businesses to understand this important issue, the needs of their workforce, and the menu of options they have available to them to support those unique needs. 

How did it go?

We had over 250 contributors from around the country and appreciate the varied perspectives that everyone brought to the conversation. We wanted to hear the data-driven arguments that advocates and business leaders use to strengthen their case for early childhood education, and we got what we asked for.

Here are a few highlights of the importance of early childhood education for parents/caregivers, young children, and business.

It's always important to look at examples of other business leaders to learn from their experiences. But at the end of the day we want every business to focus their strategy for engagement not on what other employers are doing, but by understanding the context of their own situation and the needs of their employees.

Here are a few recommendations from the field on how a business can get started.

Ready to take action?

  • Are you a business leader who isn’t sure where to start? Check out our toolkit with checklists to help support your journey.
  • Are you a business leader who’s doing great work in the space and want us to know about it? Let us tell your story
  • SCAN provided a recap of the Twitter Chat from their perspective. You can read it on their blog.
  • If you want to see more examples of businesses investing in early childhood education, you can read about our case studies and read in-depth stories.
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  • Do you have questions or comments about this topic that we didn’t cover in the chat? We'd love to hear about them. Shoot us a note