Early Ed Untapped Potential Pennsylvania


October 14, 2023


The U.S. Chamber Foundation partnered with the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission on this report to better understand the unique needs of Pennsylvania working parents and examine the current childcare landscape. Pennsylvania is building the strongest workforce in the nation and recognizes that childcare is a barrier to achieving that goal. Pennsylvania has historically invested in and coordinated a functioning system of care. However, even in a strong system there are persistent and often unexpected challenges.

Our report estimates that Pennsylvania loses $3.47 billion annually as a result of childcare breakdowns.

Progress is being made in Pennsylvania and both the PA Chamber and the U.S. 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 Pennsylvania’s children, families, businesses, and economy are strong.

Here are our key findings in Pennsylvania:

  • Pennsylvania loses $591 million annually in tax revenue due to childcare issues
  • Absences and employee turnover cost Pennsylvania employers $2.88 billion per year
  • More than 78% of parents rely on family members for at least some childcare
  • 55% of parents reported missing work due to childcare issues
  • Almost 10% of parents voluntarily left a job due to childcare issues
  • 38% of parents postponed school or a training program due to childcare issues

Faces Behind the Numbers

Cara Moody found ABK Learning and Development Center, which is a rare childcare program that operates 24 hours per day, to care for her son, Colton, while she’s at work. Cara works nights and weekends so finding available childcare during nontraditional hours for Colton gives her peace of mind. “When I tell people where Colton goes while I’m at work, no one has ever heard of an evening, weekend day care,” Cara explains.