Let’s Address Child Care Deserts in our State Strategic Economic Development Plan

Throughout the fall, ncIMPACT—a public policy initiative of the UNC School of Government—will host regional sessions in the state’s prosperity zones to gain input into the next NC Strategic Economic Development Plan.  The focus of the discussions will be regional collaboration, educational opportunities, workforce readiness, business competitiveness and infrastructure.

One issue that can often be missed in discussions about economic development is the scarcity of high-quality child care. Ninety-nine of 100 counties in North Carolina counties qualify as child care deserts with more than three infants and toddlers for every available slot.  This is a serious concern for working parents across our state. For example in 2016, nearly 63,000 NC parents of children age five and younger had to quit a job, not take a job, or greatly change their job because of problems with child care.  This can translate into a reduced workforce and lower economic mobility for families, which in turn impacts NC’s competitiveness.

Attend a regional session.  Discuss how addressing child care deserts in our state can be part of creating an economic development plan that supports family prosperity.  Find more information and register for a regional here.