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Texas Panhandle business owners and leaders discuss childcare crisis in the workforce



AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) – The Amarillo Area Foundation held an informative gathering today to address the current childcare crisis and how it impacts local businesses.

Community leaders and business owners are working together for innovative childcare solutions to support both families and the workforce.

“Childcare is hard for young families and there might be a decision to be made of ‘Do I need to go to work or do I need to stay home with my kids?’ And as an employer, we want to help bridge that gap. We want to make sure we can offer benefits that allow them to send them to childcare and still come to work,” said William Ware, president of Amarillo National Bank and board member of the Amarillo Area Foundation.

Many parents struggle to find affordable and high-quality childcare options. This situation is exacerbated by a shortage of childcare workers, driven by low wages and challenging work conditions.

When employees cannot secure reliable childcare, they face increased absenteeism, decreased productivity and higher stress levels. According to a press release, employers, in turn, experience higher turnover rates, increased recruitment and training cost and lower overall productivity.

“The main purpose is we wanted to engage our business community and understanding access to childcare is a business problem. And it’s not just a family problem, it’s not just a provider problem, it’s one of the reasons people can’t get back to work. It’s when people can’t retain our workforce because the cost of childcare has come to the point where people can’t afford to work and have childcare,” said Keralee Clay, senior vice president of the Amarillo Area Foundation.

“There will be more meetings, trainings on how to advocate, and trainings on ways to be more family friendly in the workplace, whether you have two employees or 2,000 employees,” Clay says.

Addressing these issues is critical for creating a stable and productive workforce as community leaders continue to discuss a solution.

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