The Economic Impact of Insufficient Child Care in Texas

February 3, 2023

Texas has long been called one of the best states for work. Before and after the pandemic, the state carried the highest rate of job growth in the country. Currently, their unemployment rate is below 4%. However, child care is still an issue. Inadequate and unaffordable openings lead to a $9.39 billion annual economic impact each year. Below, we’ll dive into exactly how increasing child care in Texas could lessen or eliminate this loss.

What is Working in Texas’ Employment Field?

Texas holds an even job market, with adequate openings in all fields and at all skill levels. Its most common careers include healthcare, finance, and education, with nation-reliant oil fields following closely behind.

Texas also has a strong economy overall. Layoffs have not only been made up for throughout the pandemic, but rates are now less than half of what they were before COVID-19 took over. Child care doesn’t fit in with the things that are working.

Not only due to the economic impact mentioned above, but for parents’ lives, too. KVue in Austin reports families looking to move elsewhere due to unavailable or unaffordable care.

How Could Increased Childcare Openings Create Further Economic Improvements?

By creating more childcare openings, Texas would be allowing more parents of young children to work. This would significantly impact the current labor force participation rate of  63.5%.

How can we be so certain? US Chamber Foundation statistics show us that:

  • 75% of Texan parents report missing work due to childcare issues this year
  • 7% of those left their jobs completely when they were not able to find care
  • 37% of parents enrolled in post-secondary education had to leave their studies to tend to their children
  • 18% of working parents rely on free family care, which is not reliable long-term

More childcare openings mean more parents can join the workforce (and stay there).

Concrete Steps to Improve Child Care’s Economic Impact in Texas

Though child care funding is often given to early childhood education centers and schools, we have a different approach in mind. We believe the most effective way to increase childcare and improve its economic impact in Texas is to build and support in-home providers.

In-home family child cares not only create spots for children but also open small businesses and further improve the economy. These preschools and daycares often directly support mothers of young children who are already staying home and would otherwise not seek employment. They’re more affordable to open and they decrease childcare costs for parents.

Ready to make an impact in Texas? At Wonderschool, we build a pipeline of family child cares through 1:1 business support, provider education, curriculum development, and more. We host a two-way childcare marketplace for providers and parents alike. We partner with state leaders and decision-makers to open more affordable family child care spaces, turning economic impact from negative to positive throughout the process. Contact us or click through our government page to learn more today.

Image: Little Elm Ste(A)m Academy

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