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Business leaders want state lawmakers to approve $331M for child care

By Mark Vanderhoff

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    LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (WLKY) — A new coalition of business executives wants state lawmakers to keep Kentucky’s child care industry from falling off a dangerous cliff — and the cost could be $331 million.

The group, called Kentucky Business Leaders for a Strong Start, kicked off their advocacy efforts on Wednesday at Greater Louisville Inc.’s headquarters.

“We are in a workforce crisis in the Commonwealth, and the availability and the accessibility of high-quality child care and early childhood learning opportunities is essential to the ongoing successful conduct of our business across the state,” John-Mark Hack, president and CEO of Thoroughbred Engineering and chairman of the board of directors for the Kentucky Association of Manufacturing, said.

The coalition hopes state lawmakers will approve $331 million next year to keep the state’s childcare industry healthy and growing. Federal subsidies will soon run out for the daycare operators, forcing them to either raise tuition, cut wages or close.

Business leaders are also looking for new policies to help them open on-site child care and advocate for high-quality early childhood education.

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