Missouri’s $1 billion childcare crisis

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Missouri has a tremendous opportunity for economic growth. Yet, businesses across the state are continuing to report workforce shortages.

According to a recent Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry poll, more than half of business leaders say talent is the top issue impacting their profitability.

Furthermore, nearly 70 percent of Missouri employers say the workforce is either the first or second biggest factor impacting their growth.

Childcare remains one of the biggest factors impacting our workforce. A recent report published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Missouri Chamber found that:

  • Childcare gaps result in massive economic losses for Missouri. Childcare issues result in a total estimated loss of $1.35 billion in Missouri, including an estimated $280 million lost annually in tax revenue.
  • Some Missouri parents are leaving their jobs due to childcare issues. Approximately 9 percent of parents surveyed voluntarily left a job due to childcare issues.
  • Childcare issues are significantly affecting parents’ job decisions. Of respondents surveyed, 28 percent reported that they or someone in their household has left a job, not taken a job, or greatly changed jobs because of problems with childcare in the last 12 months.
  • The greatest need is for infant and toddler care. Of parents who voluntarily leave their jobs, 57 percent do so when their child is two years old or younger.

As we seek to move forward from the pandemic, Missouri cannot afford to wait to address our growing childcare crisis.


We urge lawmakers to look for innovative proposals to empower businesses to address this issue — Increasing access for working families to high-quality childcare and giving employers the ability to find the workforce they need to power our economic growth.