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Miami Leadership Local arrows logo


  • Priority-setting meeting: TBA

  • Working group leaders: 

       o    Kerry-Ann Royes, President & CEO, YWCA South Florida
       o    Marya Meyer, Executive Director, Women's Fund Miami-Dade 



To address the high cost of living in Miami and the challenges it poses for parents in finding affordable, quality childcare, thereby enabling them to focus on their jobs.


Subject Matter Experts:

  • Andrea Cid, Founder & CEO, Miami Growth Machine

  • Amanda Gorski, Associate Director of Public Policy, The Children’s Trust

  • Dana Ritzcoven, Chief People & Outreach Officer, Royal Caribbean

  • Facilitator: Kerry-Ann Royes, President & CEO, YWCA South Florida

  • Dialogue Advocate: Melissa Pallett-Vasquez, Partner, Bilzin Sumberg


Key Observations:

  • 90% of a child's brain develops by age 5.

  • Childcare is among the top 3 household expenses.

  • $10k-per-child state subsidy exists, but is insufficient.

  • Families are opting out of the workforce due to childcare costs, which is costing $5.6 billion to Florida - $3.6 billion in losses for people not showing up. This is an economic issue and there is an ROI on these issues.

  • Women are back in the workforce at only 18%.

  • 75% of female heads of households live below the poverty line.

  • Royal Caribbean: On-site childcare facility for employees, subsidized by the company, has been highly successful.

  • Miami Growth Machine: Cross-training employees and offering flexibility around childcare needs increases employee retention.


Working Group Action Steps:

  1. Private sector/business community will research and provide subsidized slots for child care centers surrounding their primary locations of operation.

    • YWCA & Women’s Fund will support a mapping project to identify child care desserts in and around industry-dense areas. Businesses need to use this mapping to connect their employees (to what?) and subsidize their child care needs.

    • Amplify Bosses for Babies family-friendly policies across business and non-profit sectors, as an immediate resource to supporting working families in their workforce.

    • Encourage employer commitment that includes childcare subsidies.

  2. Measure local data and metrics for untapped potential, or revenue loss, in Miami-Dade County due to insufficient childcare, and its effect on turnover and absences.

    • This will demonstrate the clear business impact and benefits to employers, including as a differentiating recruitment advantage.

  3. Cross-sector state level advocacy to:

    • Provide developers with incentives, or tax credits, to support the expansion of childcare in tandem with increased density.

    • Advocate for expanding income eligibility for school readiness subsidies to allow more families to qualify, and to avoid falling off the benefits-cliff.

    • Collaborate with MDCPS pilot on an entrepreneurial childcare program.

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