Want to Grow Tennessee’s Economy?
Fix the Child Care Crisis.

If you are a Tennessean, the Child Care Crisis impacts you. We have the numbers to prove it.

Our new report, “Want to Grow Tennessee’s Economy? Fix the Child Care Crisis,” delivers unprecedented insight into the adverse economic impacts of Tennessee’s child care system dysfunction. The consequences: $1.34 billion annually in lost earnings and revenue.

Tennessee parents who encounter child care problems are hit hard – losing an estimated $850 million in earnings each year. An overwhelming 98 percent of Tennessee parents of children age 5 or younger said that inadequate child care services hurt their work productivity or limited career opportunities. Specifically: 39 percent turned down a new job offer or promotion, 35 percent had pay or hours reduced or changed employment status to part time, 33 percent turned down education or training, and 32 percent had to quit a job, or were fired or demoted.

Access, affordability and quality are the primary factors that drag down the system. Two-thirds of parents said they have trouble accessing care at all, exacerbated by the fact that 48 percent of Tennesseans live in a child care “desert” – an area that has three times as many children as licensed child care spots. Two-thirds of parents say affordability of care is a big challenge. The cost of two children in center-based care is nearly $16,000 annually – 21 percent of median income of a Tennessee married family and 60.4 percent of families living in poverty. Another 50 percent cite finding suitable quality as an issue.

Fixing the problem begins with making it a priority.

Read the Report

Want to Grow Tennessee’s Economy? Fix the Child Care Crisis


Read the Regional Reports

Chattanooga Edition

Knoxville Edition

Memphis Edition

Nashville Edition

Rural Southwest Edition

Tri-Cities Edition


Read the Technical Report

The Economic Consequences of Insufficient Child Care on Working Families across Tennessee


Thank You to Our Sponsors:

We’re deeply grateful for the report’s 23 sponsors representing the business community across our state. They are listed in the scroll bar below.

We’d also like to acknowledge that this report builds on a similar national report by ReadyNation – Council for a Strong America issued earlier this year. We deeply appreciate the generous collaboration of the ReadyNation organization and the Pritzker Children’s Initiative which funded their report.


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