Child Care Deserts

This series examines a key barrier to families’ ability to find care for their children: rampant shortages of child care options. Areas where there are too few licensed slots for the number of children who need care are known as child care deserts, and more than half of America’s children—particularly those from low- and middle-income, Hispanic, and rural communities—live in one.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on child care providers and workers’ abilities to sustain providing care, the Center for American Progress will continue to release updated data on child care deserts and their impact on families and communities across the country.

Visit to view an interactive map of the nation's child care deserts.

More than half of the U.S. population lives in a neighborhood classified as a child care desert. (CAP/Chester Hawkins)

In this series

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