Did you know that there are approximately 12.5 million children in some sort of regular child care arrangement? Yet there are communities across the country where the supply of child care doesn’t meet the need for child care. Child Care Aware® of America helped states quantify families’ child care needs through our Mapping the Gap™ project, and learned a lot about child care gaps across the US:
For decades, Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies have prioritized tracking child care supply and demand in order to better serve the children, families and child care providers in their area. With the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant in 2014, states are now required to do this, and CCR&Rs are written into the law as experts in tracking child care supply and demand. For most state agencies or CCR&Rs, this means tracking the number of licensed child care spaces for children available at licensed child care providers. But, in recent times we’ve seen challenges with only being able to track the total number of children in a program, not the number of child care spaces by age group.