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Educating the Nation on Child Care

Skills in the States Forum

Chamber Staff Presents to National Skills Coalition Professionals on Child Care Initiatives

The lack of access to affordable and high quality child care is the biggest barrier for individuals wanting to participate in our workforce and more often than not, women and people of color are most affected.  

As the Business Leaders United lead for Michigan, the Grand Rapids Chamber has worked closely with National Skills Coalition (NSC), other Business Leaders United state leads, and National Skills Coalition’s SkillSPAN leads on elevating child care as an employer issue. 

Alexa Kramer, Director of Government Affairs, presented at the National Skills Coalition Skills in the States 2021 virtual conference where she discussed how the business community can better support our child care providers and expand access to child care. 

“Child care investments, and businesses’ role in child care, is a really effective tool to ensure that all individuals are able to fully participate in our workforce, upskill themselves, and better provide for their families,” said Alexa Kramer. “We must remember that our child care providers are small businesses, who are more often than not women-owned and minority-owned. The strength of our entire economy relies on a strong child care industry.” 

Alexa was joined by Alycia Hardy, Policy Analyst on Child Care and Early Education with the Center for Law and Social Policy and Ray Khalfani, Policy Analyst with the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute. Panelists emphasized the need for federal and state investments in child care as a key to racial equity in the workforce and the role that businesses play to elevate this issue. 

Attendees walked away with a better understand of child care wins in Michigan, including the most recent expansion of tri-share and the bi-partisan $1.4B of American Rescue Plan dollars allocated to drive affordable, accessible care for families.  

To learn more about the Grand Rapids Chamber’s efforts on child care, contact Alexa Kramer, Dorecytor of Government Affairs at alexa@grandrapids.org 

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