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Early Childhood Program Provides Economic Boost

by | Nov 23, 2011 1:30pm
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Posted to: Education

Courtesy of the CT Early Childhood Alliance

Jessica Sager, executive director of All Our Kin, and UConn Economist Fred Carstensen

For a past seven years All Our Kin, a New Haven-based not-for-profit, has been training low-income women to run their own daycare programs. The program focuses on improving quality early childhood education, but it wasn’t until recently that a question was posed to its executive director about how much money those certified daycare providers are returning to the state.

All Our Kin Executive Director Jessica Sager said last week that she was touring one of the daycare sites with a funding partner who turned to her and said, “I bet they’re paying a lot in taxes too.”

That made Sager wonder what type of impact the organization was having on the economy.

A study by the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis released earlier this month shows it was bigger than anyone imagined.

Between 2006 and 2009, All Our Kin’s Tool Kit Licensing Program, created $18.4 million in additional tax revenue. During that same period the program generated $15.2 million in macroeconomic benefits to the New Haven region. And from 2010 to 2016 the report predicts that the program will result in approximately $9.4 million annually in macroeconomic benefits, and create about $17 million per year in additional tax revenue.

The report by the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis found that for every $1 spent by All Our Kin on the licensing program, $15-$20 are returned to the state in terms of increased gross regional product.

More than 200 family child care providers have become licensed through the program in the past seven years.

Through the Tool Kit program, All Our Kin provides materials, mentorship and support to help unlicensed family, friend and neighbor caregivers meet health and safety standards, meet state licensing requirements, and become part of a professional child care provider community.

“When it comes to licensing, it’s not that providers don’t want to do it, it’s that they don’t think they can,” Sager said. “This [program] really helps boost their self-esteem.”

It also helps boost the pay of the providers. Graduates of the program reported earning between $20,000 and $25,000 per year, which is 10.4 percent more, on average than the typical wage for early care and education counterparts in New Haven, the report found. Nearly 60 percent of participants reported earning at least $5,000 more the first year after licensure and in the second year 45 percent reported earning at least $10,000 more.

The report also found that the additional money in the pocket of these providers allowed them to pay down debt, open savings accounts, and move to a bigger apartment or a house. It also found 50 percent went on to earn an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or Child Development.

The report concluded that by training individuals from culturally diverse backgrounds to become licensed care providers, “the program directly addresses the critical need for high-quality, culturally-competent child care – a need which all metrics indicate will continue to increase over the next decade.”

“Governor, are you listening? This is the best investment a state can make,” Stan McMillen, managing economist at the Department of Economic and Community Development, said.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has been largely supportive of Early Childhood Education initiatives, allowing daycare providers to discuss organizing labor unions through one executive order and by creating an creating an Office of Early Childhood Education through another executive order.

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Comments

(6) Archived Comments

posted by: main street | November 25, 2011  12:21pm

um the government probably pays the cost of daycare of most of the students so the taxpayers aren’t profiting from this they are losing.  it reminds me of the beavis and butthead episode where they both are selling candy for a fundraiser.  they keep buying candy off each other, passing the same dollar back and forth.  i’m tired of the leftist liberal spin in these stories, lets tell the truth.

posted by: kerryinfairhaven | November 25, 2011  3:47pm

Our boys attend a daycare that is affiliated with All Our Kin and it is an integral and vital part of our daily life. I have known all along that the return on our investment in the center is immense, in terms of our own quality of life but I love seeing the economic factor considered in this article. We pay a reasonable fee and in return, our sons spend three days a week in an enriching, bilingual, educational centered environment that they don’t want to leave at the end of the day. And in response to MAIN STREET, we pay 100% out of pocket and I’m sure we aren’t the only ones. All Our Kin and our daycare provider provide an immense community service and we are grateful to them.

posted by: Buzz | November 28, 2011  9:51am

I’m all for early childhood programs, and I wish I could say that this article makes sense, but the math just doesn’t add up.  Just over 200 licenses in seven years?  18.4 mil from ’06 to ’09 generated in taxes by those Daycare Providers created by the ‘Program?  Even if the $18.4M were generated by 300 of those Providers (round up) over the entire seven years in income tax, that would mean that they each would have to be making much much more than the reported $20-$25K.  Inflating these number doesn’t benefit the program

posted by: jwbandcab | November 29, 2011  12:48pm

@ Buzz - They’re not inflating the numbers. If you read the study, the additional tax revenue is calculated based on the number of providers licensed and the parents who are able to work because they have access to affordable child care (4 to 5 parents per provider). One of the reasons why child care is such a great investment is because it provides a crucial workforce support for parents, especially low-income parents and single mothers (and middle classes families as well!.

posted by: lkulmann | November 29, 2011  5:27pm

BINGO! The State does want to pay for babysitting/daycare anymore. If a child needs it educationally then thats provided by the State, as it should be.

posted by: lkulmann | November 30, 2011  9:00am

Oops…typo! CT does NOT want to pay for babysitting…