Time and again, economic development organizations are tasked with arguing the benefits and economic impact of potential projects to elected officials and public. This is necessary to demonstrate that an investment of time, staff hours, public infrastructure or incentives is worthy of the effort because of the benefit to the ultimate recipient . . . the community.
It’s time to make the case for family providers.
Many people still hold the picture of in-home family providers as glorified babysitters. A nearby home where parents drop their kids off in the morning and pick up after work. A place for a meal, naptime and probably some educational TV.
Juggle same issues as other small business owners
But in-home family providers are so much more than that. Not only are they one of the first influences in the educational journey for our children, they are CEOs of their own small businesses. They juggle the same issues as any other independent Nebraska business. They, too, worry about profit and loss, government regulation and insurance. They pay operating costs, real estate and income tax -- all while making sure they are providing a quality service for their “customer,” parents.
Beyond that, providers are a bedrock necessity for sustaining a community’s workforce. Without our existing child care providers, current and future parents would have nowhere to enroll their children. They would need to make the difficult choice of deciding whether to drop out of the workforce to care for their child. This hurts their own economic outlook and spending power within a community.
Without these workers, Nebraska employers would be faced with trying to find even more employees for the estimated 58,000+ existing open positions they’re struggling to fill. The result? Lower productivity and profitability of local businesses, which likely would have repercussions throughout the community.
Link between child care, community sustainability
Will parents stay in a community that doesn’t offer quality child care opportunities? Or will they leave for another community and employer that recognizes the vital link between quality child care businesses and a sustainable workforce? That’s a choice parents are too often faced with in communities.
In Nebraska we regularly celebrate the independent business owner, the sole proprietor, the entrepreneur. It’s time we recognize and celebrate family in-home child care providers for the role they play in the success and quality of life of their communities.
Business Engagement Associate
First Five Nebraska
Thank you so much for recognizing that Family Childcare is so much more than “babysitting”,Erika Felt
Thank you for recognizing inhome childcare providers unique roll in ensuring Nebraska families can work while their children are safely nurtured.