By Nancy Fishman, National Director, ReadyNation
"It was an honor to attend the conference and speak at the business pre-conference session about why business leaders should care about child care. A lack of child care for working parents in South Dakota is negatively impacting businesses, families, and children. That’s the reason we are assisting efforts in South Dakota to support child care. Our research report, Want to Strengthen South Dakota’s Economy? Fix the Child Care Crisis outlines the hefty child care challenges faced by South Dakota families as the state emerges from a pandemic and aims to grow its economy. South Dakota families are also struggling with child care affordability: Infant care in a center in South Dakota averages $6,500 per year, not much less than public college tuition ($8,700). This high cost makes child care unaffordable for many families, particularly those with low incomes."
“Business leaders of ReadyNation South Dakota call on state and local policymakers to support families’ access to affordable, high-quality infant-and-toddler care,” the report states. “Businesses can play a role as well, through on-site child care, funding for employees or to child care providers, and advocating for sound child care policies. Effective, well-funded policy initiatives, as well as continuing innovations at the state and local levels, will yield a child care system that will support a more productive workforce and economy for South Dakota, both now and in the future.”
ReadyNation is an organization that leverages the experience, influence, and expertise of more than 3,000 business executives across industry sectors from around the country to promote public policies and programs that build a stronger workforce and economy