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Study shows economic impact of Georgia’s early childcare and education

Thursday - October 8, 2015

Study shows economic impact of Georgia’s early childcare and education

by Rose French
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The early childcare and education industry in Georgia generates $4.7 billion in economic activity annually while creating more than 67,000 jobs statewide, according to a new study.

Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) commissioned the University of Georgia and Georgia State University last year to study the impact of the child care industry on the economy of Georgia. Results of the study will be discussed at four upcoming public policy forums across the state.

“As Governor (Nathan) Deal continues to emphasize job creation in our state, it is important to understand the significant economic impact of the child care industry in Georgia and to recognize that it is a viable economic engine all across the state,” said DECAL Commissioner Amy M. Jacobs in a released statement.

Early childhood education “enables parents and caregivers to work and earn more than $24 billion annually, while preparing their children to succeed in K-12, college and careers,” said Jacobs.

All of Georgia’s approximately 6,000 licensed and regulated child care providers were asked to complete a survey in the fall of 2014. UGA developed and distributed the survey and compiled the data. GSU then analyzed the data which formed the basis for the final report.

The study found the early care and education industry serves more than 337,000 children each year, including 143,000 children ages birth through three years, over 118,000 four year olds and almost 75,000 school-age children (5 to 13 years). The average weekly parent fees for infants in family child care homes range from $91 in rural areas to $127 in urban areas. Among child care centers, the average weekly fees range from $99 (rural) to $161 (urban).

The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education will join UGA, GSU and DECAL to present results from the study on Sept. 29 at Valdosta State University, Oct. 14 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Oct. 21 at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot in Atlanta, and Oct. 23 at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Deal recently announced he wants to spend $50 million to reverse cuts to Georgia’s pre-kindergarten program that increased class sizes and cut teacher pay. In 2011, Deal and state lawmakers cut the pre-k program’s school year by 20 days to save money. The maximum classroom size was raised from 20 to 22 students. A 180-day school calendar has since been restored, but class sizes remain the same.

 

Source: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-education/study-shows-economic-impact-of-georgias-early-chil/nnqhH/ 

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