chilcare equation
Childcare is important for children, and it is essential for working parents. Parents rely on childcare to help them enter, re-enter, or remain in the workforce. But access to affordable, quality childcare is hard to come by, and now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, families are experiencing additional challenges in finding childcare that meets their needs. It is no secret that parents dedicate significant energy and resources balancing their roles at home, in the community, and in the workplace. Parents must consider various factors in determining the level and type of childcare solutions that best meet their needs. These factors make up what we’re referring to as the ‘Childcare Equation.’
Taking Action on Childcare
© Child Care Aware of America
As a business leader, you’ve noticed it is becoming more and more difficult to hire and retain qualified workers. You’ve likely even considered the longer-term scenarios – will it be even more challenging to secure a reliable and productive workforce 5 or 10 or even 20 years from now?  
Beyond School Walls
© 2019 Beyond School Walls
Last year, Cox and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta (BBBSMA) joined forces to launch a new approach to mentoring with a program called Beyond School Walls. Though other BBBS affiliates had tried the program, this was the first of its kind for Atlanta. This program combines traditional mentorship with an immersive educational experience. The one simple, but very important element that makes this program different than traditional mentoring programs is location. 
Iowa Survey on Early Education Needs
© 2019 Getty Images
The current unemployment rate in Iowa is 2.5%, and there are currently 40,000 people on unemployment and 60,000 job openings. As historically low unemployment continues, employers are always looking for opportunities to recruit more workers and also to retain their existing workforce. To solve this challenge, Iowa business leaders have increased wages, offered flexible work environments where possible, and expanded benefits. More recently, one of those benefits is childcare.  
Engineering Excellence
© 2019 Getty Images
By 2020, one of the city’s higher education institutions, in partnership with some of the city’s major STEM businesses, will look to make a bridge of their own to address a skills gap that is prominent across the country. In the fall of 2020, the College of Charleston (CofC) will officially introduce its Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering degree program after being approved by the state’s Commission on Higher Education this summer. 
Talent Forward 2019 Wrap-Up
© Photo by Ian Wagreich / © U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Each year, as the Chamber Foundation hosts the Talent Forward national workforce conference, we focus on talent—educating and training, talent tech and data, recruiting, hiring, and upskilling. With no shortage of talent challenges, the opportunities for informative discussion are endless. While a day devoted to dissecting talent-related topics could focus solely on the problems, Talent Forward is all about the solutions.

Finding a Childcare Provider, Child Care Aware of America
© 2019 Getty Images
Finding the right childcare provider for your family is a personal choice, and not one that can be outsourced very easily. Child Care Aware® of America Executive Director Lynette Fraga, PhD, spoke with Scott MacFarlane of NBC Washington about some specific questions parents can ask, ways to assess your unique family needs, and how to understand and develop an ongoing relationship with your childcare provider.
ECE is a Broken System
© 2019 Getty Images
In this country, the early childhood education system is in market failure. In recent years we have seen the greatest federal funding increases for early childhood education in history, and yet those significant investments just barely make a dent to tackle the need. In 2018, NASEM studied “how to fund early care and education for children…that is accessible, affordable to families, and of high quality, including a well-qualified and adequately supported workforce.” The report concluded that a financial windfall of around $54 billion would be required. 

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