New report shows childcare issues result in an estimated $1.36 billion loss annually for Utah’s economy

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – JANUARY 18, 2023 – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF), in partnership with the Salt Lake Chamber, Utah Community Builders, United Way of Salt Lake, and Voices for Utah Children, released a report, titled Untapped Potential in Utah, today that will better help the business community understand the unique needs of working parents in Utah and examine the current childcare landscape.

The report estimates how often parents with children under the age of six leave the workforce or educational opportunities because of insufficient childcare, as well as how often they are missing work or school due to childcare issues. This data is used to model a conservative estimate of the direct financial impact of breakdowns in childcare for Utah’s economy and its employers. The results highlight the value of access to childcare for families and any proposed solution must be developed to be responsive to the distinct challenges of Utah.

“Utah is a state that champions industry, and also family, and this requires innovative approaches to address our workforce challenges,” said Derek Miller, President & CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Childcare is crucial to Utah’s economic success now and provides a stable foundation for Utah to thrive as a top tier business environment in the future. By understanding the needs of parents and working to find public and private solutions, Utah will be better equipped to unlock the economic potential of parents whose employment and educational options are currently limited by their childcare circumstances.”

Highlights from the report include:

  • Childcare issues result in an estimated $1.36 billion loss annually for Utah’s economy
  • Utah loses an estimated $258 million annually in tax revenue due to childcare issues
  • 26% of parents have changed their childcare arrangement due to COVID-19
  • In Utah, families pay an average of $561 per month for childcare
  • 48% of parents needed to make a significant adjustment to their school or work training due to childcare issues in the past 12 months

Childcare is crucial to Utah’s economic infrastructure and provides a stable foundation for the state to continue to thrive as a business environment. Access to childcare also allows parents the flexibility to pursue careers or enhance their education or vocational skills. Parents are often forced to weigh competing priorities, balancing their desire to pursue rewarding work or advance their education to advance their career or education with the responsibilities of raising their children. The research draws clear indications that access to childcare weighs heavily on professional development for parents. Without access to childcare, working parents will compromise on their futures for the immediacy of their childcare needs.

“The barriers created by the current state of childcare in Utah are a reality parents have faced alone for far too long. When parents lose out on career advancement and educational opportunities, their kids lose out too. This report shows how important finding a lasting solution is for the sake of Utah families, as well as our state’s employers and economy as a whole,” said Bill Crim, United Way of Sat Lake President & CEO.

The most effective childcare system will not be the result of one initiative, but collective impact generated through collaboration on accessing high-quality childcare options. Partnerships between early education advocates and the business community are vital to ensure that Utah’s children, families, businesses, and economy are strong.

By continuing to listen to the needs of parents and working to find public and private solutions, Utah will be better equipped to unlock the economic potential of parents whose employment and educational options are currently limited by their childcare circumstances.

*Cicero Group conducted a statewide survey of 307 Utah parents with children under the age of six, who are not yet in kindergarten. The purpose of the survey was to gauge the current state of childcare in Utah, understand parents’ motivations for their childcare arrangement, and inform stakeholders of the economic cost to the state and its employers.

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization affiliated with the United States Chamber of Commerce, dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. USCCF educates the public on the conditions necessary for businesses and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future. For more information about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, please visit

The Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s largest and longest-standing business association. A statewide chamber of commerce with members in all 29 Utah counties, the Chamber represents the broad interests of the state’s 63,000- plus employers, which employ more than 1.4 million Utahns. This includes thousands of Chamber members and their employees. With roots that date back to 1887, the Chamber stands as the voice of business, supports its members’ success and champions community prosperity. For more information, visit

Established in 1904 as the Salt Lake Charity Association, its original mission was to help the poor, discourage panhandling, and coordinate various programs. The historic “community chest” with a broad charitable mission has transformed into an agent for social change. Today, United Way of Salt Lake is pursuing lasting social change on some of the toughest challenges we face, including poverty, poor health and lagging educational achievement. Learn more at

The mission of Utah Community Builders (UCB) is to address our state’s most pressing challenges by engaging the business community on social issues such as mental wellness, upward mobility, and childcare. As the social impact foundation of the Salt Lake Chamber, UCB has a vision that Utah’s workforce is elevated by expert-informed, data-driven, and employer-led best practices that support individual development, organizational health, and mutual success. Learn more at

Voices for Utah Children is a non-profit, non-partisan statewide organization committed to advocating for, and advancing, policies and practices that are good for all of Utah’s children. Voices for Utah Children conducts research, produces reports and analysis, raises awareness of children’s issues, and influences policies that impact children. For more information about Voices, visit

Cicero Group is a premier management consulting firm focused on implementing data-driven strategies for a broad mix of private, public, and social sector organizations across the globe. We use data and experience to generate insights, create actionable strategies, and drive transformation with an overarching purpose of helping people create and continuously deliver extraordinary results. Cicero Group is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, with additional offices in New York City, and Washington D.C. For more information, visit