New study measures economic impact of formal childcare

In 2006, the Travis County childcare industry was larger than the software industry, with a gross revenue of $232.9 million and more than 5,400 people.

The United Way hopes that information like that will help the community understand that access to childcare can lead to more than soft, unquantifiable, “good for us” benefits. That it’s actually good for us economically, too. Their recently commissioned study prepared by local economist Jon Hockenyos is available for download from their homepage.

The report uses literature reviews, impact studies, and local data to make the point that childcare isn’t just a personal issue for parents, but also an important service to the community. Here’s an excerpt from the summary:

“Taken together, it is clear that formal childcare is an important element of our current and future economy, and should be considered a key asset in Austin’s economic development portfolio. In that light, policy initiatives designed to increase the level of and access to affordable, high-quality childcare (perhaps using tools such as increased funding, inclusion of childcare facilities in local public sector facilities planning, and private-sector tax and regulatory incentives) will likely pay significant dividends.”

Download the entire report here.

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