Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Hiring Challenges in Child Care Industry Leave Parents Struggling To Find Care
Press Release

RELEASE: Hiring Challenges in Child Care Industry Leave Parents Struggling To Find Care

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released an issue brief highlighting that while the U.S. economy has added millions of jobs since the spring 2020 recession and recovered all jobs lost, the child care sector has failed to bounce back as quickly–new data released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that there are now 88,000 fewer child care workers than before the pandemic. Our child care sector operating below capacity takes a toll on the overall economy: Parents struggle to find care, and due to the field’s lack of funding, providers are unable to retain child care workers, let alone offer good paying jobs and benefits. 

Some of the issue brief’s findings include: 

  • The American Rescue Plan helped keep nearly 75,000 child care sites from permanently closing, helping serve more than 3 million children. 
  • New data from states across the country indicate they are struggling to hire staff due to low wages and lack of benefits. 

“A strong child care sector allows the rest of our economy to thrive,” said Rose Khattar, associate director of economic analysis at CAP and co-author of the issue brief. “The clock is ticking on funding our child care sector so that we can retain workers and offer them competitive wages and benefits. Now is the time for state and national policymakers to take action to fund our child care sector and end its shortage of good jobs to bring workers back into the sector.”

“Child care workers have been grossly underpaid for decades,” said Maureen Coffey, policy analyst for CAP’s Early Childhood Policy team and co-author of the issue brief. “Unless we make investments in the sector, early childhood educators are not going to be coming back to their jobs, leaving our communities with fewer slots and more and more parents struggling to find care.” 

Read the issue brief: The Child Care Sector Will Continue To Struggle Hiring Staff Unless It Creates Good Jobs by Maureen Coffey and Rose Khattar

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at snadeau@americanprogress.org.