Building a high-quality foundation of education from the start. 

In the face of an increasingly competitive global economy building a highly skilled workforce is more important than ever. American business depends on a strong workforce, now and in the future, to complete and succeed globally. Yet America is facing a challenge that threatens the productivity and strength of the workforce of today—as well as the workforce of tomorrow. America is facing a growing skills gap. And while this challenge manifests in the workforce, it has roots in the classroom. In response to this challenge, there is a need to rethink the entire education pipeline—starting at birth. 

A world class education system is critical to a work class workforce, but our education system is falling short in preparing students to succeed. Business leaders have long understood the importance of a well-educated workforce to support a strong economy, keep America competitive globally, and ensure a vibrant democracy. These same leaders, through their leadership, have played a tremendous role in strengthening the education pipeline so crucial to economic growth and prosperity. What is less discussed is the underestimated, and as such historically under-supported, phase of education and human development: early childhood education, years 0-8.

In today's economy, an unprecedented number of young children are in paid childcare for a substantial portion of their early years. And while childcare is a necessary support for the workforce of today (working parents), it also has a critical impact on children (the workforce of tomorrow) during the most consequential phase of human development.
We at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation believe that for American business, advancing high-quality childcare is a winning proposition. It's a wise investment in America's future, strengthening business today while building the workforce we'll depend on tomorrow and for decades to come. Our goal is to educate and encourage business to make this wise investment.
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Leading the Way Toolkit

As a part of our initiative, we produced a toolkit called Leading the Way: A Guide for Business Engagement in Early Education, which provides resources to enable the business community to advance access to high-quality, affordable childcare to support employees, the broader community, and the country. This includes:

  • Key facts and an elevator speech on childcare
  • A tactical guide with tangible ways that the business community can make an impact
  • Case studies that illustrate best practices and lessons learned for how to engage.

Our report, Workforce of Today, Workforce of Tomorrow: The Business Case for High-Quality Education, explores the under-recognized role of high-quality childcare in the education and workforce pipeline. This report, and the initiatives that have followed its release, stress the importance of high-quality education from an early age to support the development of the workforce of tomorrow, and the parents and guardians trying to provide that education while contributing to the workforce of today.

Specifically, the report outlines 10 things that the business community can do to advance access to high-quality childcare.