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Women’s Foundation event to focus on child care as ‘essential resource’ for workers

The Women’s Foundation of Alabama is hosting its annual research showcase Thursday to emphasize the potential impact of expanded child care options on Alabama’s businesses, economy and families.

“Child care is an essential resource for Alabama’s workforce,” said Lillian Brand, foundation vice president. “As Alabama succeeds in industry recruitment and job creation, the lack of affordable, accessible and quality child care will continue to be a glaring and substantial barrier to work, impacting the economic progress across our entire state.

“Backed by data-driven solutions, the foundation is proud to partner with elected officials, businesses, and civic leaders in this watershed moment and pivotal opportunity to break down the barriers impacting over 85,000 Alabama families.”

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne P. Clark and Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth will be guest speakers at this year’s event, Clearing the Path: The Business Case for Child Care.

Clark will offer her viewpoint on establishing and sustaining a vibrant national economy, according to the foundation.

Ainsworth will offer perspectives on Alabama’s existing workforce needs and propose potential solutions to address the state’s low labor force participation rate by focusing on investing in high quality, affordable and accessible child care.

Alabama’s labor participation rate is the third lowest in the country at about 57%. Nick Moore, director of the Governor’s Office of Education and Workforce Transformation, previously shared with Alabama Daily News that the three most frequently cited barriers of employment are child care, housing and
transportation.

House Minority Leader Rep. Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville, found the challenges Alabamians are facing within accessible child care are “especially dire.”

Daniels in the upcoming session will sponsor legislation to create an employer tax credit and a child care provider tax credit to enhance workforce participation.

Clearing the Path: The Business Case for Child Care is at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Harbert Center in Birmingham. For more information, click here.

“Together, we can create game-changing public policy that opens the door for all Alabamians to earn and fill quality jobs,” Brand said.

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