Our child care system is in crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic made a weak, disjointed system crumble even further. Parents struggle to find accessible, affordable, quality child care while the child care workforce is shrinking due to decades of low pay and a lack of respect regarding the critical nature of its work.
How can we catalyze or accelerate the changes that our child care system needs to overcome these challenges? One important factor is data. In this series of reports, Child Care Aware® of America will use data from various sources to answer this question. In our first report, Annual Child Care Landscape Analysis: 2021 Supply and Quality Trends, data from our most recent survey of Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies is used to explore how the supply of child care has changed since 2019. In our second report, Price of Care: 2021 Child Care Affordability, we update our child care affordability data and national price averages. Our third report, Perspectives from the Field: The Voices of Child Care Providers, CCR&Rs and Families, analyzes data from families with young children and child care providers to understand how these groups are coping with the challenges brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and economic stresses. This report also highlights how CCR&Rs are helping connect families to child care and strengthen the child care workforce. Our final report, The Year in Child Care: 2021 Data, Analysis and Recommendations, summarizes all of the research work that CCAoA has done over the past year, while highlighting key child care data findings from studies conducted outside of CCAoA. With the right data, we can catalyze the growth that our child care system needs in order to work for all families and providers.