Early Ed Untapped Potential Mississippi


October 14, 2023


The U.S. Chamber Foundation partnered with the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) and the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi on this report to better understand the unique needs of Mississippi’s working parents and how childcare breakdowns impact working parents, their employers, and the state economy. Mississippi families are pursuing postsecondary education and training programs to advance their careers and achieve economic and social mobility. This means there is great opportunity to strengthen the workforce and the state economy. However, childcare issues are often a significant barrier for student parents.

Our report estimates that Mississippi loses $673 million annually as a result of childcare breakdowns.

Progress is being made in Mississippi, and both MEC and the Chamber Foundation are committed to supporting these positive steps forward. To do so, partnerships between early education advocates and the business community are vital to ensure that Mississippi’s children, families, businesses, and economy are strong.

Here are our key findings in Mississippi:

  • Mississippi loses $120 million annually in tax revenue due to childcare issues
  • Absences and employee turnover cost Mississippi employers $553 million per year
  • More than 75% of parents rely on family members for at least some childcare
  • More than 1/2 of parents reported missing work due to childcare issues
  • 11% of parents who voluntarily left a job did so when their child was one year old or younger
  • 41% of parents postponed school or a training program due to childcare issues

Faces Behind the Numbers

Arial, a 25-year-old teaching assistant and single parent of two, struggled to pay for childcare and to find caregivers she could trust. As an educator herself, she knew she wanted a high-quality center focused on social-emotional learning and fostering a caring environment. “It's like a ton of pounds off your back, just to know that your kid loves her teacher, loves her school, loves her director, loves the assistant teacher, her classmates.”