Maryland Family Network and Maryland Chamber of Commerce Urge Action on Childcare Access & Affordability
Dec 14, 2023
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Chamber of Commerce and Maryland Family Network express grave concern that the lack of accessible, affordable quality childcare is deeply impacting Maryland employers, families and the state’s economy.
On behalf of Maryland’s business community and families statewide, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and Maryland Family Network warn that the state of child care is creating major instability for workplaces and households. Businesses are challenged to hire and retain employees, while families struggle to find affordable care — forcing many out of the workforce. In addition, businesses are seeing increased absenteeism, recruitment and retention difficulties, and lost productivity.
“Too many families are being left without affordable quality options, forcing them to make an impossible choice between caring for their child or bringing home a paycheck,” said Laura Weeldreyer, Executive Director of the Maryland Family Network.
"Maryland businesses face extreme challenges retaining employees and growing their businesses, and the childcare crisis in our state has played a significant role in this issue," said Maryland Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Mary Kane, representing Maryland employers. "If we fail to take action to expand affordable, quality childcare access for working families, Maryland will continue facing workforce shortages. The economic ramifications stemming from the lack of stable, affordable childcare options are already costing our state billions in annual losses.”
Both organizations point to data underscoring the crisis:
- 2018 Maryland Family Network — Childcare breakdowns led to 50% of working parents missing work, totaling $2.41 billion in employer costs.
- 2022 Kids Count Data — 74% of Maryland children under 6 had working parents relying on care.
- 2022 First Five Years Fund — Over half of Maryland counties deemed “childcare deserts”.
- 2023 ReadyNation — Projected a $2.2 billion annual impact in Maryland solely from infant and toddler care shortages. This staggering figure doesn't account for the impacts of the lack of affordable, accessible care for older children on our workforce and tax base.
Maryland Family Network and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce call for urgent action and bipartisan collaboration this legislative session to advance policy solutions on childcare accessibility and affordability. It is imperative that we work together to alleviate the burdens currently shouldered by Maryland families and businesses. By doing so, we can pave the way for a future where the challenges associated with childcare do not impede the growth and well-being of our communities.
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About the Maryland Chamber of Commerce
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce is the only statewide business advocacy organization and the leading voice for business in the state. Together with their 6,800+ members, they form a statewide coalition that is committed to ensuring that Maryland is attracting and retaining quality jobs, developing vibrant, sustainable communities and staying at the forefront of global competitiveness and economic prosperity.
About Maryland Family Network
Maryland Family Network's mission is to ensure that children have strong families, quality early learning environments, and a champion for their interests. For more information or to search for child care visit marylandfamilynetwork.org.