Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New Report Finds Severe Lack of Child Care Supply for Infants and Toddlers
Press Release

RELEASE: New Report Finds Severe Lack of Child Care Supply for Infants and Toddlers

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new analysis of infant and toddler licensed child care supply data for nine states and the District of Columbia. A lack of licensed child care supply can drive up costs, have a negative impact on parents’ ability to remain in the workforce, and force families to seek care arrangements that could compromise children’s health and safety. Key findings from the report include:

  • There are more than five infants and toddlers for every licensed child care slot. This is more than triple the ratio for 3- through- 5-year-olds.
  • More than 95 percent of the counties in this study have three or more infants and toddler per licensed child care slot.
  • While child care shortages for infants and toddlers exist everywhere, they are especially pronounced in rural areas and counties with lower median family incomes. There are nine children under 3 for every child care slot in completely rural counties, compared with five per slot in mostly urban counties.

“Making quality child care for infants and toddlers more affordable and accessible would yield meaningful positive results for children and their families, particularly mothers,” said Katie Hamm, vice president of Early Childhood Policy at the Center for American Progress and co-author of the report. “This analysis shows that many families lack options when trying to find quality, affordable care for their youngest children.”

Please click here to read “Understanding Infant and Toddler Child Care Deserts” by Steven Jessen-Howard, Rasheed Malik, Simon Workman, and Katie Hamm.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202.741.6292.