In Colorado alone, more than 100,000 women left the workforce during the pandemic and mothers took the brunt of job losses. Out of the mothers who didn’t leave careers, more than 17% had reduced work hours and pay. The overwhelming reason? A lack of accessible and affordable child care in Colorado (Source: Common Sense Institute).
In many cases, the pandemic only exacerbated an existing problem as it relates to child care because quality providers and resources were scarce long before March 2020. Lack of access and quality leads to bad outcomes for children, but more importantly the broader Colorado community. More so, research shows that if action is taken to improve early education, states won’t have to spend nearly as much money later on for special education, remedial job training, correctional facilities, and other costs that are a drain on economic growth. The correlation between high-quality early childhood education and community success is exactly why PNC Bank remains so committed to investing in this space through PNC Grow Up Great®.
Launched in 2004, PNC Grow Up Great is a $500 million bilingual initiative designed to help prepare children, particularly underserved children, for success in school and life. Built on the understanding that education is a powerful means for economic and social mobility, PNC Grow Up Great helps children across the country develop a lifelong passion for learning. Since arriving in Denver in 2018, PNC Bank and the PNC Foundation have already invested more than $1 million to strengthen high-quality early childhood education and provide critical resources across Colorado.
This legacy of investing in high-quality early childhood education is why PNC Bank is thrilled to be a community partner of EPIC, as they work together to create a strong Colorado workforce and community. As the presenting sponsor for EPIC’s Annual Business Leaders Dinner, PNC’s regional president for Colorado, Ryan Beiser spoke at the event about the bank’s commitment to high-quality early childhood education and dedication to impact the current and future workforces here in Colorado. Ryan said, “We believe that all children deserve to start life on equal footing and the best way to do that is through early childhood education.” See the full video here.
PNC Grow Up Great has inspired great futures at home, in schools, and across communities. The program has collectively distributed more than $200 million in grants to organizations that support high-quality early childhood education and has supported more than 7 million young children in the U.S. to date. These dollars have provided teachers and caregivers with the resources to inspire a lifetime of learning, promoted school readiness, and filled classrooms with school supplies across the country.
Relationships with organizations such as EPIC allow PNC’s contributions to go further and provide an abundance of tools and resources that help young minds thrive. From birth to age 5, children’s brains are the most malleable, with over 90% of a child’s brain development taking place. These first five years of life are critical to support curiosity and growth while instilling a long-term passion for education.
Nicole Riehl, President, and CEO of EPIC is a working mom, “It’s no secret that the pandemic has been especially tough on mothers. Lack of consistent child care programs has disproportionately affected many women in careers. This is a clear example of why our economic development begins with an investment in early childhood. Children who have quality learning and early childhood experiences have an increase in graduation levels and show greater economic mobility and overall career success. This investment helps support our current and future workforce, and it is why we are so proud to partner with companies like PNC Bank.”
It’s never too late to invest in the future of children, as it will only make the future brighter for years to come. Join PNC and EPIC by investing in the workforce of tomorrow to create a stronger community in Colorado and beyond.