The Case for Family-Friendly Policies
Early childhood education is the healthy development and education of children from birth to age five. Environments and experiences in these early years are the most influential in the development of a child’s brain. A child's first teachers are his or her parents.1 Often times parents are ill-equipped to provide high-quality early childhood experiences because of the stress of juggling work and family life. A high-quality early childhood education is a key to our community's future economic success.
As a business leader, you're concerned about your current workforce, your future workforce and how you can make smart decisions that show returns on your investments. Virtually all companies are affected by employees' child care responsibilities. An employer who is supportive of early childhood education has both short and long term benefits.
In the short term early childhood education benefits include attracting highly skilled workers with young children, who are more likely to settle where quality services are most available and giving employees' peace of mind so they can be more productive on the job, as well as allowing your business to control costs and effectively managing human resources (recruit, develop and retain talent).2
Over the longer term children who attend high-quality pre-k programs have: higher test scores through their K-12 years; improved social and emotional skills including better interactions with peers and teachers; lower rates of grade repetition and special education placements; significantly greater high school graduation and college attendance rates; and increased employment rates and higher earnings in adulthood.3 One study found that investing just $6,692 in quality pre-k for at-risk children substantially improved outcomes such as education levels, home ownership and salary while reducing negative behaviors, including substance abuse and crime. The net result was a lifetime societal benefit of up to $69,937 – an ROI of greater than 10:1.4
There are several ways an employer can implement worksite policies that support their employees that are juggling the responsibilities of work and home. The Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce is able to help and support these easy to implement options.
Curious about what Family-Friendly Workplace Policies might look like? Keep reading.
ROI of Investment in Human Capital5
1 Institute for a Competitive Workforce (2010). Why Business Should Invest in Early Childhood Education (2010) Available at: http://icw.uschamber.com/publication/ready-set-go-why-business-should-support-early-childhood-education
2 Institute for a Competitive Workforce (2010). Why Business Should Invest in Early Childhood Education (2010) Available at: http://icw.uschamber.com/publication/ready-set-go-why-business-should-support-early-childhood-education
3 The Pew Center on the States. Partnership for America's Economic Success. (July 2011) Attracting, Developing and Maintaining Human Capital: A New Model for Economic Development. Available at: http://www.partnershipforsuccess.org/uploads/20110719_BartikWebBriefFINAL.pdf
4 The Pew Center on the States. Partnership for America's Economic Success. (July 2011) Attracting, Developing and Maintaining Human Capital: A New Model for Economic Development. Available at: http://www.partnershipforsuccess.org/uploads/20110719_BartikWebBriefFINAL.pdf
5 Heckman, J. "Schools, Skills and Synapses" (May 2008) Available at: http://www.heckmanequation.org/content/resource/presenting-heckman-equation
For More Information:
Contact Ananda Sweet at (707) 636-3662.
Special Thanks to:
First 5 Sonoma County for providing funding for the WHEEL Plus elements of this program.