Child care access could limit Alabama’s workforce

Child care access could limit Alabama’s workforce
Access to child care could keep some Alabamians from entering the job market. (Source: WAFF)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Alabama needs nearly 500,00 employees to fill the growing workforce by 2025, but access to child care could keep some Alabamians from entering the job market.

According to research, two-thirds of children live in a home where both parents work. That means access to child care is important to nearly every family in the Valley.

The Huntsville-Madison County Chamber teamed up with Mazda Toyota Manufacturing and the Alabama Partnership for Children to discuss it Tuesday. They talked about ways to keep workers on the job as they begin to grow their families.

Many parents choose to leave the workforce due to the cost of child care or the lack of child care if a parent works second or third shift. That can leave companies scrambling to find good workers and spending money training new ones.

“With the growing economy it’s especially important knowing that we’re building the workforce, looking at schedules, challenges that might arise, and also for our companies to retain their workforce. Having adequate, high-quality child care for all is important,” said Lydia Pennington of the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber.

Many local businesses participated in Tuesday’s discussion, which included ways to work with employees who have or are planning to have children.

There will be several of these seminars across the state, including one on Thursday in Gadsden.

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