Sasha Nicholas Sasha Nicholas
Associate Manager, Early Childhood Education

Published

March 08, 2024

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently hosted the 14th Annual International Women’s Day Forum in partnership with the U.S. Department of State on February 28, 2024. Bloomberg’s Reade Pickert hosted a panel with Chobani’s Shari Eaton, Mom’s First’s Molly Day, and Upwards' Jessica Chang. These childcare experts and business leaders discussed the ongoing challenges facing the childcare sector and innovative solutions being developed by employers.

From L to R – Jessica Chang (Upwards), Molly Day (Mom’s First), Shari Eaton (Chobani), and Reade Pickert (Bloomberg) speak on a panel about childcare during U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s 14th Annual International Women’s Day Forum.
From L to R – Jessica Chang (Upwards), Molly Day (Mom’s First), Shari Eaton (Chobani), and Reade Pickert (Bloomberg) speak on a panel about childcare during U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s 14th Annual International Women’s Day Forum.

Key Takeaways:

  • Upwards Co-Founder Jessica Chang highlighted their technology solutions connecting families and providers, and empowering employers and governments to increase access to care for working families. Their platform has assisted numerous home daycare providers, such as Natalie Lamb from Los Angeles, CA, in stabilizing their businesses, finding families quickly, and subsidizing tuition for families in their care through Upwards' government partnerships
  • Mom’s First is working to mobilize grassroots support for bipartisan policy changes like paid leave and increased public funding for childcare. Chief Operating Officer, Molly Day, called on businesses to use their influence saying, “when we frame care as a business imperative, it helps drive cultural change.”
  • Chobani, Chief People Officer Shari Eaton, outlined expanded benefits like childcare stipends through partner Upwards, backup care, mental health support, and 12 weeks of paid leave.

Why It Matters:

In the U.S., an estimated $237 billion a year vanishes due to women paring back their workloads to care for kids. The business case for investment in childcare is clear —affordable, flexible, quality childcare result in decreased absenteeism and turnover, organizational growth, higher rates of recruitment and retention, community standing, and brand impact.

Our Take:

At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, we harness the power of business to create solutions for the good of America and the world. When it comes to opportunities for women to thrive, the business community is a powerful force for progress.

Looking Ahead:

There is still significant work to be done to address the childcare crisis. The policy actions of individual states continue to strengthen their unique childcare sectors and provide support to children, families, workers, and employers. The business community continues to partner with state administrators and legislators, childcare providers, and working parents to find ways to identify and bridge gaps in childcare. 

Dig Deeper:

Now Accepting Nominations for the Citizens Awards

For 25 years, the Citizens Awards have recognized businesses for their leadership in solving the world’s biggest challenges. Awards are given in nine categories, honoring the most innovative and impactful corporate citizenship programs, from economic opportunity to education to disaster response. Apply by June 21, 2024.

About the authors

Sasha Nicholas

Sasha Nicholas

Sasha (Saputo) Nicholas is an associate manager of early childhood education programs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

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