NEW ALBANY, Ohio — More federal money, more support for working parents. That's the mission behind a new plan from the Biden Administration looking to solve two problems: the need for more workers and the need for affordable, high-quality child care.
This would apply to semiconductor manufacturing companies like Intel.
Construction is underway at Intel's self-described "mega-site" in New Albany. In order to support this growing tech force in our backyard there needs to be a workforce behind the workforce.
That's why local childcare advocates are applauding Tuesday's announcement from the Biden administration -- to require companies like Intel, to prove how they will support their workers with child care -- if they want to tap into billions of dollars available in new federal subsidies.
"How equitable our growth is, depends on how well we answer the call of working families for child care,” said Eric Karolak, Action for Children’s CEO.
Karolak said that support could take several different forms.
“Whether that's an on-site child care center, some additional support so employees can afford child care, or working with child care providers to expand their capacity,” he said.
Childcare advocates say the timing of this plan is critical.
"This problem is getting worse, not better,” said Shannon Jones, the CEO and President of Groundwork Ohio.
She said they conducted a poll one year ago -- to paint the picture of the problem in Ohio.
"60% of women with young children said that they would either work more hours or get back into the workforce if they had access to high quality, affordable child care."
Jones said there's an opportunity right now in Ohio to help parents return to the workforce to grow our economy.
"The state that figures this out first is the one that's really going to benefit from the onshoring of manufacturing and reshoring of manufacturing. You can't have one without the other. We need workers. The workers are telling us that childcare is the issue. We need to be responsive to those needs."
Looking ahead to Thursday, Groundwork Ohio will be releasing the results of its latest survey to show the need for child care here in central Ohio.
Intel provided 10TV with the following statement:
“Intel works to create an environment that allows employees to bring their whole self to work, and cultivate a sense of belonging for everyone. Access to affordable and reliable child care is important to this goal. We provide best-in-class benefits packages for Intel employees, including childcare programs with tuition discounts at local childcare centers and emergency backup childcare resources.”