Report details the effects of paying Early Care and Education (ECE) workers wages that match qualifications
LOS ANGELES, CA — UNITE-LA, joined by the L.A. Partnership for Early Childhood Investment, today unveiled "The Economic Benefits of a Professional Early Care and Education Workforce in L.A. County." The UNITE-LA commissioned report, prepared by Beacon Economics, shows the effects of paying ECE workers wages they deserve and that match qualifications. L.A. County child care workers are less likely to rely on social services programs and more likely to invest in goods and services in their communities. Additionally, child care is critical to reopening the economy amidst the pandemic. Essential workers need access to child care and given the ongoing, pandemic-induced closures, their options are very limited.
"As we continue to look at ways to ensure our communities and economy can begin to recover, early child care must be a priority. Without it, we will not be able to get the workforce back on track," said David Rattray, President & CEO, UNITE-LA. "This report solidly confirms what we suspected – the early child care work force is not paid equitably. Doing so is not only a must to provide quality care to our working parents, but it also benefits our economy substantially. Investing in the early child care workforce is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do."
The report shows that if L.A. County increased public spending on ECE programs, the investment would annually generate:
- 47,000 – 55,000 jobs
- An economic output of $5.2 – $8.1 billion
- Labor income of $3.5 - $5.5 billion
- Federal, state and local tax revenue of $1 - $1.5 billion
"The data here are so compelling and demonstrate what a triple win investment in ECE is for L.A. County," said Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner of Beacon Economics. "Committing these resources helps children who are in need early in life, helps chronically underpaid child care workers build long run careers, and both of those things ultimately help the entire economy grow faster and more equitably."
Additionally, due to the multiplier effect, which acts like a ripple effect from the initial investment, every $1 invested into higher wages for ECE workers would yield $1.9 across the economy in terms of economic output and $1.3 in additional labor income. You can view the full report here.
As part of a webinar where the report was provided, those in attendance had the opportunity to hear from Beacon Economics Founding Partner, Dr. Christopher Thornberg. He was joined by Tonia McMillian, Chair, Early Childhood Master Plan Workforce Committee and child care provider.
Established in 1998, UNITE-LA is a nonprofit organization that leads collaborative education reform efforts, promotes business-education partnerships, expands college access and provides workforce development opportunities for youth in the Los Angeles area to ensure underserved youth have the opportunity to participate in Los Angeles' 21st-century economy.