• Scarcity and cost of child care in the region are a drag on the region’s economy
  • 90% of employers believe that supporting working parents helps talent attraction and retention

SAN DIEGO, January 13, 2020 – Two new reports released today provide critical information relating to how San Diego County’s governments, school districts, workforce agencies, and local employers can boost economic growth by supporting working parents. 

In 70% of San Diego families with children under 12, all parents in the household are working, creating a link between an employee’s ability to secure child care and the impacts on business and the economy. But because child care options are scare, inconvenient, unaffordable, and of varying quality in the San Diego region, working parents can be forced to leave their jobs, never enter the workforce or struggle to balance a career and childrearing. 

Man speaking at a podium
Mark A. Stuart, The San Diego Foundation President & CEO, spoke at a press conference on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020: “Today, we celebrate the creation of a roadmap. With all of you, we’re looking forward to getting running.”

Employers overwhelmingly say they value supporting their employees with families to improve talent attraction, retention and productivity. Though small employers, which comprise the great majority of employers in the region, with few parent employees are unsure how to provide meaningful support at an affordable cost.

The two independent reports reveal in detail the comprehensive factors facing employers, working parents, policymakers and funders, who must work together to address the child care crisis in San Diego. The reports also outline a set of recommendations for how employers, policymakers and other stakeholders can take action now to better support working parents.

Workforce + Child Care: Two Vital Components of a Thriving San Diego Region

In their report, Workforce + Child Care, the San Diego Workforce Partnership and The San Diego Foundation establish the link between child care and economic development. The report shows that employers, policymakers and funders want change and identifies opportunities for local action. The report outlines how the optimal child care and workforce system requires the county and city governments, school districts, employers, funders, parents, and nonprofits to join efforts in six local actions:

  1. Expand the supply of child care 
  2. Make more jobs family friendly
  3. Leave no state or federal money on the table 
  4. Modify approaches for prenatal to third grade (P-3)
  5. Serve and support whole families (2Gen)
  6. Spark innovation in the child care sector 

The report and more detailed steps within each of the six action areas can be read online.

Supporting Working Families: Assessing Strategies for Increasing Employer-Provided Benefits

In its report, Supporting Working Families, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce uncovers San Diego County employer perceptions about benefits provided to support working families. According to the report, employers offer a range of benefits, including parental leave, lactation rooms, child care and subsidies, and scheduling opportunities. By offering these benefits, employers gain a competitive edge when it comes to candidate recruitment, team retention, and increased productivity. 

The survey analysis offers seven high-level considerations for employers to support working families and recommends these three low- and no-cost ways employers can get started:

  1. Let employees use pre-tax dollars to pay for childcare
  2. Create a peer group for parents
  3. Establish clear boundaries between work and home

The full study and a dashboard highlighting key findings are available online.


“Whether for working families, or another segment of the workforce, workplace culture is more and more important to building strong, lasting, and productive teams,” said Jerry Sanders, San Diego Regional Chamber president and CEO. “As workplaces continue to evolve, the more employers can stay ahead of the curve and meet the needs of their workers, the happier and more productive those employees will be. If we can raise awareness across the region of how to best support working families, we can make great strides in our success as a region.”

“Early childhood care and education is essential to the health, development and success of San Diegans and the regional economy,” expressed Mark Stuart, president & CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “The need for affordable, accessible child care impacts all our communities and The San Diego Foundation is committed to working together with philanthropy, government and business to pursue solutions that address this critical challenge.”

“We have parents really struggling to hold down jobs because their child care arrangements are so tenuous or expensive. That means we’re leaving talent on the table, which we simply cannot do in this economy when employers are desperate to fill jobs,” said Peter Callstrom, president and CEO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership. “When we start to prioritize child care as a region, we will reap dividends for our current workforce and employers as well as for our future workforce – our children.”


Media Contact:

Shannon Sneade, Shannon@gomixte.com, 702-540-8108

About the San Diego Workforce Partnership

The Workforce Partnership is the leader for innovative workforce solutions in San Diego County. It funds and delivers job training programs that enable all job seekers to develop the skills and knowledge needed for in-demand careers. The Workforce Partnership also provides ongoing labor market research on the region’s workforce trends and key industries. Its vision is to ensure that every business in our region has access to a skilled workforce and every job seeker has access to meaningful employment. For more information, visit workforce.org.

About the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

The San Diego Regional Chamber is the hub for connections and collaboration among the regional business community, and uses that clout to advocate for public policies and candidates that support economic growth and the creation of jobs for all businesses. As the largest local Chamber on the West Coast, representing approximately 2,500 businesses and an estimated 300,000 jobs, the San Diego Regional Chamber is fighting to make San Diego the most business-friendly region in California. For more information, please visit SDChamber.org or call 619-544-1300.