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Serv and Return:
Employers Who Are Co-Investing with States in Child Care 

“Serv and Return” is an occasional series that spotlights a recent exchange on the Alliance listserv—a widely used channel for the network to provide rapid-response resources and support to one another.  

In April, allies responded to a Listserv request from an advocate in Tennessee:

“TQEE is exploring state-funded programs and initiatives that incentivize employers to be a partner in investing in child care for employees. We are aware of tax credits as an option, and already have good information on what states are doing in that regard thanks to CED. So, we’re looking for other types of programs and initiatives.” 

Members of the Alliance network stepped up with several examples of  states incentivizing child care and employer supports.

Maine’s Child Care Infrastructure Grant program and Iowa’s Child Care Business Incentive Grant Program support employers through infrastructure grants to build on-site child care opportunities, expand child care capacity in communities through strategic partnerships, and support local child care facilities to expand and reserve child care slots.  

Wisconsin’sPartner Up Initiativeis an example of public + employer-sponsorship of off-site programs. In this program, employers work with the state lead agency to purchase child care slots for their employees in a matching program where the state pays 75% and the employer, 25%.  

Kentucky established the Employee Child-Care Assistance Partnership fund through legislative advocacy (KY HB 499) passed in 2022. The public and private program assists employers to make contributions through direct payments to child care providers or business employees to support their employees child care needs.

Michigan Tri-Care is a state program that splits the cost of child care in three ways between the state, the employer, and employee. This program is coordinated regionally through facilitator hubs.

Nevada has several program incentivizing onsite childcare.

States have acted and partnered with their local and state chambers to advocate for the implementation of these policies. For more information about these strategies, national partners at Ready Nation and Best Place for Working Parents have resources that support these policies.  

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