The business community knows creating new opportunities for children and families to be successful is critical to achieving equity goals, and to support the economic success of our entire County and region. But Oregon has fallen behind when it comes to providing preschool access–our state and federal preschool programs only reach 15 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds in Multnomah County. That means more than 8 out of 10 families must pay the full price of preschool, and the cost of preschool in Oregon is the 4th highest in the nation. Multnomah County families have not had affordable preschool options for far too long.
High-quality preschool programs set up children for lifelong success and provide parents the support they need to work. Universal preschool for all children in Multnomah County benefits families, businesses, and supports a strong local economy.
Measure 26-214 would provide stability to the workforce and support increased revenue for companies.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation reports companies lose $3 billion in revenue each year due to employee absenteeism that results from breakdowns in childcare.
- By providing preschool for all three- and four-year-olds in Multnomah County, we can ensure parents and guardians have the support they need to be able to work, increasing workforce participation.
- When workers have childcare, employee absences can decrease by 30%, and job turnover can decline by 60%.
Measure 26-214 would set up Multnomah County children for greater success in the workforce and in life.
- Research shows children participating in high-quality preschool are more likely to graduate from high school.
- High-quality preschool programs can also help children develop cognitive and social skills that set them up for greater success in Kindergarten and throughout their lives.
- The local business community has long been a champion for public education, advocating for a system that prepares young people to enter the workforce with both hard and soft skills needed in today’s economy.
Measure 26-214 is an opportunity for Multnomah County to continue leading the way toward a more equitable future for everyone in our community.
- Business leaders have been a part of developing this plan from the beginning, centering voices of BIPOC communities, who are most affected by the lack of affordable, high-quality preschool.
- Multnomah County business leaders have recognized the need to address systemic racism and committed to working toward eliminating barriers to economic success that exist especially in communities of color and immigrant communities.
- The Preschool for All plan is an investment in our local economy that will benefit workers, businesses, and families–leading to a better future for all of us. Economists say that quality preschool can return $16 to the community for every dollar invested.