Across Arizona, it’s a struggle to find affordable childcare. And while it might seem to be a parent’s problem, a new report by Ready Nation shows that the child care crisis impacts taxpayers, businesses and the overall economy.

The new report said the inadequate child care costs the Arizona economy $4.7 billion per year in lost earnings, productivity and revenue. 306 parents surveyed about half or more said it’s a challenge to find child care that is quality and affordable.

It said the impact of insufficient child care causes parents to be distracted at work, quit, fired, reprimanded or diminished career opportunities. 42% of parents reported having to reduce their regular work hours.

“It’s the infants and 1 years olds that really need that extra care because parents cannot provide that care and work at the same time,” Risa Kottabi-Cline, the director of operations at The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center, said.

The report shows that about half of Arizonans live in a child care desert where availability is limited for low-income families, those in rural areas and who work non-traditional hours.

“There are parents that can’t afford to send their child to a high quality center,” she said. “So they send their child to an unlicensed facility.”

As the Arizona Legislature enters the new session, child care advocates are calling on state lawmakers to make investments into child care, particularly for infants and toddlers.