RELEASE: Coronavirus Pandemic Could Permanently Wipe Out Half of Nation’s Licensed Child Care Slots, New 50-State Analysis Finds

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new column estimating the impact that the coronavirus pandemic could have on the nation’s already inadequate supply of licensed child care. The 50-state analysis relies on a recent National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) survey and CAP’s previously published child care deserts data.

The authors estimate that without public funding, the United States could lose 4.5 million—or nearly half (49 percent)—of the nation’s licensed child care slots as a result of the pandemic. Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah could be hit especially hard, losing more than 60 percent of their states’ child care supply. In Utah, the estimated number of children per available child care slot could nearly quadruple.

“Families were struggling to find and afford child care before the new coronavirus, but our estimates make clear that if Congress fails to act, this pandemic could have a catastrophic toll on America’s child care system,” said Simon Workman, director of Early Childhood Policy at CAP. “This will have profound implications for working families as states begin to ease social distancing guidance; for the nation’s ability to mount a robust economic recovery; and for women, who shoulder a disproportionate share of in-home family caregiving responsibilities.”

The estimates come on the heels of the release of a new $50 billion plan from Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tina Smith (D-MN) that would provide immediate support to child care programs caring for children whose parents are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic; assist workers at centers forced into closure; and make long-term investments in America’s child care workers and infrastructure.

Please click here to read “Coronavirus Pandemic Could Lead to Permanent Loss of Nearly 4.5 Million Child Care Slots” by Steven Jessen-Howard and Simon Workman

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

To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, visit our coronavirus resource page.