A new national survey from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices released Thursday showed a lack of affordable and accessible child care is a significant barrier to small-business growth. A majority of small-business owners surveyed from 47 U.S. states, including Iowa, reported that there are insufficient affordable child care programs in their communities. The new survey of small business owners found:

  • 84% believe it has been difficult for working parents to afford high-quality child care programs for their children.
  • More than half (57%) say that where they live, there are not enough child care programs that are high quality and affordable.
  • 38% say that a lack of child care has had a negative impact on their ability to operate or grow their business.
  • 62% say that being able to offer a child care benefit to their employees would have a positive impact on talent recruitment and retention.
  • Over one-third said that their employees have been forced to cut their work hours or forgo work entirely because of child care challenges.

“Small-business owners like me are grappling with workforce challenges directly tied to the lack of affordable, high-quality child care,” TJ Tollakson, owner of Dimond Bikes in Des Moines, said in a prepared statement. “The child care challenge gets worse in the summer months when kids are out of school. At Dimond Bikes, I’ve had employees resort to taking family and medical leave during the summer because they did not feel they had other affordable child care options. The ability to offer child care benefits would be a significant first step in helping our businesses compete and grow.”

The new data identifies potential policy solutions that small businesses would support to address this challenge. Seventy-seven percent of small business owners would support policymakers increasing federal funding programs that help families better access affordable child care; and 70% would support legislation to increase the tax credit available to businesses who want to locate or provide child care for their workforce from $150,000 to $500,000.

To view the full survey results, visit the Goldman Sachs website.