Many low-income Americans face challenges in the job market because of inadequate education and job skills, and low-income parents face particular challenges enrolling in activities to improve their skills and education levels because of the lack of affordable, quality child care. Local workforce development boards (LWDBs) set policies for and oversee a set of workforce programs and services funded under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). As such, they are the front line for low-income parents who need education and training.
This report provides insights into how LWDBs can help address child care barriers by presenting findings from interviews with administrators from five LWDBs across the country: Larimer County Economic and Workforce Development in Colorado, CareerSource of Broward County in Florida, Northern Indiana Workforce Board, Workforce Solutions of Central Texas, and North Central SkillSource in Washington. Although not representative of the actions of all LWDBs, each site had a broad vision of the importance of child care, understood the multifaceted benefits of child care across generations and how it fit their mission, and discussed the role child care plays for employers and the economy. We found that LWDBs can play an important role in meeting the child care needs of their parent clients and supporting child care in their communities, but they are constrained by funding limitations and an inadequate child care market.