The Children’s Foundation of Mississippi Hosts Summit Discussing the Impacts Childcare and Early Education Have on the State’s Economy

Jackson, MS – Mississippi’s economy loses an estimated $673 million annually as a result of childcare breakdowns, according to research conducted by The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF), The Mississippi Economic Council (MEC), and The Children’s Foundation of Mississippi (CFM) and presented in their report “Untapped Potential: How Childcare Impacts Mississippi’s State Economy”.

The report also estimates that Mississippi loses $150 million in tax revenue and $553 million per year due to absences and employee turnover caused by inadequate childcare. 

This groundbreaking research inspired CFM, with support and sponsorship from the Phil Hardin Foundation (PHF) and MEC, to host a summit focused on sharing insights and connecting business and policy leaders in order to increase awareness about the importance of quality childcare. The event will take place on March 17 at the Mississippi Trade Mart and will feature speakers Jeana Ross and Dr. Art Rolnick. 

Jeana Ross is an Early Childhood Education Consultant and Former Secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (ADECE). Ross’s work earned the ADECE national recognition for more than doubling the state’s voluntary high-quality Pre-K programming and made Alabama one of four states to meet all 10 requirements for the National Institute of Early Education Research’s (NIEER) quality benchmarks, according to The Office of the Governor of Alabama. 

Dr. Art Rolnick is a Senior Fellow at Humphrey School of Public Affairs (HSPA) at the University of Minnesota and Former Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Rolnick’s work with HSPA led to advanced multidisciplinary research on child development and social policy, as well as the creation of the Minnesota Model, which is a research-based approach for investing in children early in order to promote their success.

Participants will hear directly from Ross and Rolnick on the importance of early childhood education and will leave with actionable next steps for improving early child care in communities statewide. 

“This event,” Lloyd Gray, Executive Director of the Phil Hardin Foundation says, “represents a convergence of business and philanthropy in Mississippi to raise awareness of these facts and we hope to generate momentum to make early learning and high-quality childcare a higher priority in policy decisions at the state and local levels.”

To register for the event, visit: To learn more, visit:

About the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi: The Children’s Foundation of Mississippi is an independent operating foundation focused on improving the policies and systems that affect the well-being of children in our state. We were founded in 2019 to serve as a convener, facilitator, advocate, and catalyst for positive change. To learn more, visit our website:

About The Phil Hardin Foundation: Established in 1964, the Phil Hardin Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on improving the education of Mississippians by improving early childhood education, literacy, community and state capacity building, and more. Over the past decade, the Hardin Foundation has awarded over $23 million in grants in order to improve student achievement and increase access to educational and enrichment opportunities. To learn more, visit:

About The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is  a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the nation’s competitiveness through community engagement, solving educational and workforce challenges, and addressing emerging issues. To learn more, visit:

About The Mississippi Economic Council: Since 1949, The Mississippi Economic Council has been promoting businesses in Mississippi and positioning the state’s communities in the best place for opportunity through supporting data-driven initiatives, sharing resources, and advocating for proactive public policy. To learn more, visit: