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GSI on Childcare Tour

Childcare an important business issue and essential component to workforce development

Erin Vincent, VP Education & Talent, represented GSI on an Association of Washington Business (AWB) Institute led childcare study tour in Canada. Participants included business leaders, advocates, regulators and legislators. While in Canada, the group had a chance to explore what works well and what major challenges remain in solving childcare issues in our neighboring country to the North.

GSI has a long history of engagement around childcare. For GSI, childcare is a business issue because it’s essential infrastructure for your workforce – both current and future.

“This trip gave us access to front line information from the very active, very differently designed Canadian childcare system,” said Erin. “We had candid conversations with our hosts and took away a tremendous amount of information that we anticipate fueling the next stage of our work around childcare and early learning.”

The trip, with stops in Toronto and Ottawa, included:

  • Fact-finding to determine similarities and differences between the U.S. and Canada childcare systems
  • An update on the $10-a-day child care program for Canadian families
  • A look at the childcare workforce, employee shortages and training requirements
  • A childcare provider panel, and more

The Canadian tour is part of the Legislator Education & Action Project (LEAP). The trip builds on last summer’s child care bus tour and ongoing dialogue on child care solutions.

When asked for her takeaway, Erin said, “When describing childcare, one of our speakers provided the illustration of a four-sided tent — the kind that pops up IF you can manage to raise all sides at one time. The four “sides” of a childcare tent being: affordability, accessibility, inclusivity and quality. In other words, you can’t raise one side of the tent, IE: affordability for families, without also raising accessibility, inclusivity and quality. That makes this issue of childcare a really big one but one that we now have a better idea of how to tackle thanks to this trip.”

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