A Council for a Strong America report says the state needs to do more in making sure parents are able to find child care. CEO of the Committee of 100 Michael Olivier says the infant and child care crisis is costing the state $1.1 billion each year and that’s lost earnings and productivity.

“One out of five working parents with young children within our state have been forced to go from full-time work to part-time work because they can’t get good high quality childcare that they can afford,” said Olivier.

5,000 kids are currently on a state waiting list for funding to pay for child care education. Olivier says hopes the legislature allocates $31 million in funding to eliminate the waiting list. But Governor Edwards is pushing for the state to spend more money on public education and his plan is to increase funding for early childhood education next year.

Olivier says it is not just parents who take on the financial burden of lost productivity when they are not able to find suitable childcare.

“It also shows that employers take a big hit of about over $800 million a year due to the lower productivity when parents struggle to find childcare,” said Olivier

Olivier says early childhood care and education is vital for helping build a better society and will offer a better payoff in preparation as children go into the later years of education.

“We can have a better person if we educate them earlier and they learn better and they have skills and they can earn better.  All of that enures to the benefit of a better society,” said Olivier.