U.S. Chamber, MEC Report Highlights Success of Early Learning Collaborative, Potential for Enhancing Early Childhood Education in Mississippi

From Left: Panel Moderator Dr. Laurie Todd-Smith, US Dept. of Labor; MEC CEO Scott Waller; and Dr. Lina Southward, Children's Foundation of MS

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today released a report examining the impact of childcare issues on Mississippi’s state economy. The report is part of a broader “Untapped Potential” study of four U.S. states – Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania – that reveals the cost of childcare challenges in each state and provides opportunities to unlock economic potential for states and employers. The study found that Mississippi loses an estimated $673 million annually for the state’s economy.

“Nothing is more critical to Mississippi’s economy than the development of a strong workforce, and this begins with connecting the dots with education,” said Scott Waller, president and CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council. “To fully prepare our future workforce, a focus on quality early childhood education is a vital part of the equation. Ensuring parents have access to quality childcare strengthens today’s workforce and provides a strong educational foundation for developing a job-ready workforce of the future.”

The Mississippi Economic Council partnered with the U.S. Chamber on the report to explore how childcare breakdowns impact working parents, their employers, and the state economy. The series of reports was unveiled at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s national Early Ed Summit at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. on Friday. Waller, along with Dr. Linda H. Southward, executive director of the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi, served as panelist at the summit, discussing the progress that is being made in Mississippi and ways to tap into the potential that exist for future success.

Click Here for Report
Click Here to View Video discussing Mississippi’s Early Learning Collaborative

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