Over the course of my campaign for county commissioner this year, I’ve seen a rather quick evolution in how affordable child care is talked about … and who is doing the talking.
At the beginning, parents of low-income families – often single mothers – were the ones most enthusiastic about my plan. They were excited by a low capped cost, but they were also relieved of a dilemma placed onto their shoulders by the state Republicans: either find someone to watch your child while you work (your net pay reduced from child care fees) or stay with your child, earn nothing, and risk losing public assistance.
Today, it’s the business managers and owners concerned about the issue, but from a different perspective – a lack of a local supply of labor.
Even if the U.S. economy enters a recession in response to rising interest rates and unemployment does increase, the recession is expected to be temporary. Unemployment will return to historical lows. People will get their jobs back.
Furthermore, the labor force is expected to grow very slowly over the next decade as most workers who enter the workforce then will only be refilling jobs of retiring workers, not filling newly created ones.
In other words, businesses have a huge problem looming: a long-term labor shortage.
Simply put, businesses can’t afford to lose precious working hours from their employees, and they would prefer lower turnover from an employee’s improved living situation. For them, an affordable child care option for all families is good economic sense.
Tyler Sagardoy, County Commission candidate