October 12, 2023


The U.S. Chamber Foundation partnered with the Alaska Chamber on this report to better understand the unique needs of working parents in Alaska and examine the current childcare landscape. Since the height of the pandemic, Alaska’s unemployment rate has slowly started to return to pre-pandemic levels, falling by more than five percentage points since April of 2020. As more Alaska residents return to the labor force, it is important that there are adequate and affordable options for childcare. If parents are not able to return to work because of childcare, there are financial impacts to both parents and the economy.

Our report estimates that Alaska loses $165 million annually due to childcare breakdowns

Our report estimates how often parents are missing work or educational opportunities because of insufficient childcare. With that information in hand, we model the financial impact to the Alaska economy to understand the untapped economic potential due to childcare breakdowns. The results highlight the challenges facing families with young children and clearly show the need for flexible access to high-quality, affordable care. It is essential that any proposed solution be developed by and tailored to the unique needs and distinct challenges of each community, and directly address the issues of access, affordability, and quality.

Key Findings in Alaska:

  • An estimated $13 million is lost annually in tax revenue due to childcare issues
  • Approximately 7 percent of parents voluntarily left a job due to childcare issues
  • Forty percent of respondents reported that they or someone in their household has left a job, not taken a job, or greatly changed jobs because of problems with childcare in the last 12 months
  • 58 percent of parents who voluntarily leave their jobs do so when their child(ren) is two years old or younger, indicating that childcare for infants and toddlers is the greatest need