Childcare Crisis Impacts Employers and Employees

April 18, 2024

A recent study conducted by the Genesee, Lapeer, Shiawassee, and St. Clair County Regional Child Care Coalition (GLSSC)  Regional Child Care Coalition emphasizes the growing child care crisis that directly impacts employers and employees in the region.  There is a critical gap in available child care in St. Clair County, as well as many other Michigan counties.  The child care conundrum consists of three major issues:

  • Parents cannot afford child care (costs should not exceed 7% of a household’s income for affordable care)
    (many families work multiple jobs, reduce hours, deplete savings, go into debt or leave the workforce entirely)
  • Caregivers cannot afford to hire or retain qualified workers due to lower wages and limited benefits
  • Substantial number of children are competing for one slot due to childcare shortages   

The Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County and St. Clair County Regional Education Service Agency are working to bring awareness to this problem which is expected to worsen due to continued child care staffing shortages through their involvement in the GLSCC.  The GLSSC Regional Child Care Coalition is also working on implementing its regional action plan to improve access to child care and support child care staff and business owners in the region. 

“It’s been proven that without reliable child care, there is lost productivity and increased employee turnover in the workplace.  It benefits employers to prioritize child care and help employees ease the burden, whether that includes flexible workplace policies, childcare stipends, backup emergency daycare options or other creative solutions that help reduce childcare stresses or costs.  It benefits the employer, and even employees without children, to preserve the company’s bottom line.  Reduced productivity can result in lost business and customers, leading to job losses, layoffs or business closures,” said Bruce Seymore, Vice President, Business Services, the Economic Development Alliance (EDA) of St. Clair County.  “The child care issue is a problem that affects the entire business and community.” 

A new study* shows that for every $1 spend on child care benefits, employers saw a net gain of between $.90 and $4.25 with reduced absences, less late workers, and lower rates of attrition.

Based on the median household income in St. Clair County ($62,847), the cost of childcare as part of household expenses should not be more than $4,399 (7%).  However, the annual costs are ranging from $6,400-$10,000 (10-16%), causing further financial stress at a time when disposable incomes have been drastically reduced due to higher inflation and cost of goods.     

“Child care is a key driver of economic prosperity in St. Clair County. Without affordable, high-quality childcare and preschool options, it is difficult for parents to enter the workforce. St. Clair County needs access to more care for children of all ages, especially infant and toddler care. We know that having a quality early childhood experience not only provides families with child care options, but also helps ensure future educational success in school,” said Becky Gorinac, Director of Early Childhood Services at St. Clair County RESA.   

The EDA will continue working with partners and stakeholders in the community to increase affordable childcare options in the region, as well as work with employers on innovative solutions.   




EDA of St. Clair County
The Economic Development Alliance (EDA) of St. Clair County is a private non-profit organization that provides general purpose economic development services throughout St. Clair County.  EDA offers a wide variety of services involving business support, recruitment, retention and expansion with the overall goal of growing the local economy and enhancing the quality of life for residents in St. Clair County.


St. Clair County RESA
The St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) is one of 56 intermediate school districts in Michigan. We are dedicated to providing cost-effective, high-quality services to the county’s 20,000 students and the seven public school districts that educate them.  St. Clair County RESA provides early childhood, special education, and vocational services to students across the county.


* Boston Consulting Group and Moms First new study:


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