Path Home Shows 2009 Show Archive July 2009 Show 0929 Economics of Child Care

Economics of Child Care

Oklahoma is widely regarded as a national leader in providing early childhood education. It's an investment that a growing number of businesses recognize is planting seeds for future economic growth.
Economics of Child Care

Childcare Training

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Oklahoma State Department of Education

Show Dates

Show 0929: Economics of Child Care

Air date: July 19, 2009

 

Transcript

Rob:  Well Oklahoma is widely regarded as a national leader in providing early childhood education.  It’s an investment that a growing number of businesses recognize is planting the seeds for future economic growth.  As Quin Tran shows us, early childhood education is an investment in our future.

Quin Tran:  On a Monday morning, moms and dads take their children to daycare.

Mother:  It’s pretty outside today, isn’t it?

Quin:  On this day, two-year-old Sydney is heading somewhere else.

Mother:  This is Sydney.  She’s running a little fever, which probably means she’s going to end up with an ear infection.  She really doesn’t feel that bad; but DHS guidelines say that she cannot be in a childcare center that is for well children only.

Quin:  Instead, she’ll stay in the sick childcare center, while her mom goes to work.  The Chickasaw Nation opened the facility in 2008, an extension of its child development program.

Gary Ware:  Parents just don’t have the available time to leave their jobs for every mild illness that their child may have.  We’re the only one, the only facility for sick children, in Oklahoma.

Quin:  It’s a facility that is available to employees of the Chickasaw Nation, and other working parents in the Ada community.  The Chickasaw Nation, employing more than 10-thousand people, saw a need for educational programs focused on the care and wellness of children.  There is a shortage of childcare facilities in the area, and to help its employees attract and retain a good workforce, the tribe opened a state-of-the-art child development center.

Quin:  It houses head start programs, and features a separate facility for the care of children with mild illnesses.  It’s a blessing for working parents like Becky Anoatubby.

Becky Anoatubby:  It can be challenging to find a place for her to be and us still be able to go to work.  It’s helped us so much.  It’s a place where we know the kids will be nurtured, and loved, and well taken care of when they don’t feel good.

Quin:  From Ada, to Enid, Oklahoma, businesses understand the importance of early childhood education, even beyond the classroom.  Advance Food Company provides benefits to its employees that impact their children, from childcare subsidies to medical needs.

Brian Hayden:  If a person, or even a child has diabetes or asthma, we pay 100 percent of the cost of treating that disease, providing they’re doing the things that they need to be doing and getting the medical care that they should.  And so we take that whole financial burden piece of that, and the child is medically taken care of to where they’re not having as many problems, which puts them in a position for better learning, social skills.  You know, our main focus is really around the families and alleviating some of the burdens off the families, which we think has a positive impact on early childhood education.  We see it as the right thing to do.

Quin:  Doing the right thing at the right time.  Investing now on early childhood education will cultivate a healthier future workforce.  Business and community leaders agree.

Dave Lopez:  It’s no different than what happens when you make an investment in a bank, in a stock.  If you do it early, you’ve got chance for growth, and compounding interest takes form.  And when you look at it in education, what we’re doing is just moving our investment up a little bit earlier.

Quin:  Dave Lopez says American Fidelity is stepping up to support a neighborhood school nearby.

Lopez:  It’s exciting because we’re able to offer complete access.

Quin:  The company is providing office space to Wilson Elementary School, so that two pre-k classes can be held there this fall.

Lopez:  But we are eager.  And a lot of colleagues are already asking, ‘How can we help, can we volunteer?’  Just the idea of being able to see children that age, I think activates the colleagues.  We’re very much convinced that early childhood education is a good investment.