Childcare Study

According to the study, the labor force participation rate in Kentucky remains below pre-pandemic levels, currently at 56.9%, down from 58.8% in December 2019, leading to a shortfall of workers regionally. This shortage hampers economic growth and results in significant revenue loss for both the state and county governments. A notable segment of the untapped workforce comprises parents unable to afford or access childcare for their young children, labeled as “work willing” throughout the analysis. By enabling these parents to rejoin the workforce full-time, estimated at 2,035 individuals in the LTADD region and Hart County, annual earnings could reach between $99.2 million and $126.3 million. These earnings, predominantly circulated within the region, would drive local economic activities, generating additional tax revenues for governments and boosting the Gross Regional Product (GRP) by $164.5 to $230.6 million, leading to further revenue gains. The study also includes a collection of recommendations for next steps, emphasizing a multi-faceted approach unique to each community, while also championing formal collaboration and coordination on goals, metrics, strategies and tactics.

“This analysis underscores the pressing need to address childcare challenges, emphasizing the substantial financial benefits for employers, parents and governments alike,” said Brian Nottingham, Senior Strategic Advisor, Research & Impact for TPMA. “This is a pervasive issue across communities nationwide, and I applaud LTADD for its proactive approach in comprehensively assessing the prevalence of this challenge within the regional workforce and taking steps to address it.”

  View the April 29th Presentation
(2 hours, 19 minutes)

  Childcare Study Report (1.1 MB PDF)

  Press Release (302 kb PDF)

Task Force Members:

  • Charles Aull (Kentucky Chamber of Commerce)
  • Lance Blanford (Bardstown City Schools)
  • Daniel Carney (Springfield-Washington County Economic Development Authority)
  • Tom Carrico (Baptist Health Hardin)
  • Sarah Caven (Springfield-Washington County Economic Development Authority)
  • Kirk Chadwick (Fischbach USA)
  • Jacob Druen (Baptist Health Hardin)
  • Meredith Dubree (Breck County United)
  • Daniel Flory (Altec)
  • Andy Games (Elizabethtown/Hardin County Industrial Foundation)
  • Ashley Gibson (Wonderschool)
  • Annie Hamilton (Meade County Chamber of Commerce)
  • Representative Samara Heavrin (KY – 18)
  • Brooklyn Leep (Marion County Industrial Authority)
  • Trish Niles (Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board)
  • Rachel Richey (impacted mother)
  • Kendra Scott (Hardin County Chamber of Commerce)
  • Christa Shouse (United Way of Central Kentucky)


Childcare Study Sponsors