Early Care and Education Industry Contributes $1.03 Billion Impact, More than 24,000 Jobs in Alabama

MONTGOMERY – A new report released today by the Alabama Partnership for Children (APC), in partnership with Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM), demonstrates that the early care and education industry has a $1.03 billion impact on our state’s economy and is responsible for an average of 24,717 full time equivalent jobs. These findings, which were presented today at AUM, not only demonstrate that the ECE industry in Alabama is a critical sector of our economy in terms of its economic weight, but also its social influence.
This summer, the Alabama Partnership for Children commissioned AUM and M. Keivan Deravi, Ph.D., to determine the economic impact of the Early Care and Education industry on the economy of the state of Alabama.  Statistics presented in the report included licensed and exempt child care centers, family child care homes and group homes, state Pre-K and Head Start.  The APC commissioned this report to help determine the economic magnitude of the early care and education industry, and what its condition means to the economic well being of the state.

“We have known for years what young children need to develop optimally, but we have not fully understood how critical the early care and education industry is to our state’s economy”, said Gail Piggott, executive director of the Alabama Partnership for Children. “Not only do these programs provide employment in small businesses across the state, but they enable parents to go to work each day. In our state, 65 percent of children under the age of six have all parents in the workforce.  Comprehensive early care and education also lays the groundwork for Alabama’s future workforce, by preparing upcoming generations for school and work success.”

In terms of the early care and education industry’s social influence, M. Keivan Deravi, Ph.D, professor of economics at Auburn University at Montgomery and the economic assessment report’s author, notes the “unique feature of the early care and education industry is its potential for creating an enormous and long-lasting social economic benefit for society, at large. A well-funded and well-staffed comprehensive early childhood education program can produce significant positive externalities.”

The Alabama Partnership for Children has been the state’s leading voice for early care and education for over 12 years.  It strongly believes that it is important to support strengthening public investment in quality licensed early care and education, and encourages Alabamians to:

  • Learn more at www.alabamachildcarefacts.org
  • Support efforts to expand First Class Pre-K to more children in our state.
  • Establish and support the Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) across the state. QRIS provides early care and education facilities with programmatic, professional development and financial supports.  The system also provides parents with a framework to evaluate potential ECE facilities to make the best decision for their family.
  • Advocate that all early care and education programs are inspected for basic health and safety standards.

Click here to view PDF version of the full report: Economic Impact of the Early Care and Education Industry on the Economy of the State of Alabama.

Click here to view the Executive Summary.