MENU

Bend Chamber and U.S. Chamber Foundation Tackling Child Care Shortage

A Series of Meetings to Be Held with the Region’s Chambers and Business and Community Leaders to Address this Workforce Issue



The Bend Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are collaborating with chambers across the region to host a number of meetings with businesses, community leaders and others concerned about the child care shortage in Central Oregon.

Attending from Washington, D.C. is Julia Barfield, senior manager of policy and programs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce.

The US Chamber Foundation is funding a statewide study on the economic impact of the lack of child care and will be releasing results in early 2020.

Barfield will be sharing an overview of case studies from around the nation on the child care shortage and how businesses are stepping up to address this as a workforce crisis.

The US Chamber Foundation is funding a statewide study on the economic impact of the lack of child care and will be releasing results in early 2020.

Each meeting in the region will feature the local chamber, area employers, community and business leaders along with representatives from the State of Oregon Early Learning Division.

If employers are interested in attending, contact Katy Brooks at Katy@bendchamber.org.

“The shortage of quality child care in our region is a burden on families and employers alike,” said Brooks. “Creating more quality child care in our region is essential for people who need to work, but want to make sure their children are well taken care of, and businesses need to know their employees can come back if they choose to.”

Meetings are scheduled on September 25 in Madras, Prineville, and Redmond, then on September 26 in La Pine and Bend.

Meetings are scheduled on September 25 in Madras, Prineville, and Redmond, then on September 26 in La Pine and Bend.

In 2018, the Bend Chamber released the results of two surveys on child care, one from employers and hiring managers and the other targeted to employees. The purpose of the survey was to better understand whether child care needs are impacting businesses’ ability to attract and retain employees, and how child care affects the workforce. Respondents for the survey were from Bend and the region, and included 128 employers and hiring managers, and 333 employees.

Over 20% of employee respondents say that childcare takes 25% of their income, with 21% saying it takes 50% or greater of their total income to pay for care.

Employers are feeling the impact of child care shortages on their business, with 96% responding that it is at least somewhat to very difficult for employees to find and afford child care. Child care challenges affect companies in a variety of ways, with 92% of employer respondents citing attendance as the top issue, 57% stating impacts to productivity and 54% saying employee retention is directly affected. “It is clear that child care is a significant factor for employers in attracting and retaining talent,” said Katy Brooks, Bend Chamber of Commerce CEO. Of the employer respondents, 37% said that at least a quarter (up to more than half) of their workforce needed child care services.

Employees are also feeling the impact of child care shortages in Central Oregon, with 73% responding it is very difficult. It is also impacting budgets and the cost of living. Over 20% of employee respondents say that childcare takes 25% of their income, with 21% saying it takes 50% or greater of their total income to pay for care. Comments in the survey conveyed the difficulties of finding child care and the impacts to family expenses, often stating that it is the second highest family expense behind paying mortgage or rent. Survey comments indicated that salary, housing and discretionary spending was greatly impacted by child care costs. “From our conversations with employers and those working in and around the child care industry, this is a challenge that will require a collaborative effort, with both public and private sectors, to tackle,” said Brooks.

 

Join the conversation!

The newest comments appear at the top and older comments follow. Click the reply button to add a comment to a thread.

  1. Amy says:

    What time and place is the meeting held in Bend?

    1. Garrett Jaenicke says:

      Best to contact Katy Brooks at katy@bendchamber.org to discuss attending the meeting.

Add a comment...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Bend Chamber is actively supported by these Signature Investors

 

: : : : : Website Navigation : : : : :