“Childcare is an Economic Issue, Not a Women’s Issue”
US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo discusses child care with Moms First founder and CEO Reshma Saujani
The private sector is emerging with solutions to support employees’ child care needs
Moms First, a national non-profit organization focused on fighting for the structural supports moms need to thrive, convened business leaders from across industries for a series of events in Washington with the Biden-Harris Administration and celebrated bold new commitments to expand child care for American workers.
Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo addressed corporate leaders at a luncheon event, which was followed by an intimate roundtable on child care with senior officials at the White House.
“As families across the country struggle to find quality, affordable child care, the private sector is emerging with innovative solutions to support their employees’ child care needs, and in doing so demonstrating the business case for broader investments in child care,” said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Moms First. “The organizations here today are at the vanguard of that effort, and we are honored to recognize and uplift their contributions to addressing our country’s child care crisis.”
The luncheon event featuring Secretary Raimondo was co-hosted with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) at their Washington, DC office and included executives from more than 25 companies with industry-leading child care benefits offerings, including: Adecco Group, Athletes Unlimited, Chobani, Community Offshore Wind, Deloitte, Dollywood Parks & Resorts, DoorDash, Etsy, Fast Retailing US, Gap Inc, Hire Talent, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Lyft, Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, PayPal, Pinterest, Salesforce, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation, theSkimm and WeightWatchers. Innovative providers such as Care.com, Haven Collection, Mirza, Vivvi, and WeeCare were also in attendance.
In a fireside chat, Secretary Raimondo expressed her support for child care as essential to a healthy workforce and economy, and especially in ensuring that women are able to participate in the labor force to their full potential.
“Child care is an economic issue, not a women’s issue or a social issue, but core economic infrastructure that allows for all other work to happen. Investing in child care and Pre-K is essential to our economic competitiveness—just as much as investments in roads, bridges, domestic manufacturing, and semiconductors,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “These investments – from the public and private sector – are essential to getting Americans, especially women, back to work and supporting continued economic growth for the U.S.”
Following the luncheon event, Moms First and a cohort of business leaders participated in a roundtable at the White House with Jennifer Klein, Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Gender Policy Council and Carmel Martin, Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President. The conversation focused on how business leaders can drive economic prosperity through their innovative policies to support working families.
Though child care in the US has historically been viewed as an individual problem for every family to solve, research from ReadyNation shows that insufficient child care takes a severe economic toll, costing $122 billion in lost earnings, productivity, and revenue every year. Moreover, a new report from The Century Foundation indicates the crisis is poised to get significantly worse as pandemic funding to bolster the sector expires in September 2023, with 3.2 million children likely to lose child care spots.
White House roundtable event with Moms First and business leaders on child care
Yesterday’s events marked the anniversary of Moms First’s National Business Coalition for Child Care, an initiative launched by the non-profit last year to galvanize the private sector to take action on child care. Now comprising 30 members, the Coalition partners with companies to expand their child care benefits and provides a community of practice, promoting cross-sector learning and collaboration. Additionally, the Coalition works to increase transparency around child care policies and amplify first-movers, including through its recently launched #ShowUsYourChildCare campaign in partnership with theSkimm.
The next phase of the Coalition’s work will feature an independent assessment of its members that measures the value created through direct investment in child care benefits. BCG will conduct the assessment at the invitation of Moms First.
“Gaps in child care make up a staggering portion of the $290 billion in GDP the US could lose in 2030 if we do not take action now,” said Emily Kos, Managing Director & Partner, BCG. “We’re proud to support this conversation at the national level, and work with Moms First and members of the National Business Coalition for Child Care to articulate this urgent need through our research.”