States face unique challenges in exploring child care supply and demand and directing precious resources to ensure accessibility to quality child care. With the passage of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, it is critical for states and communities to understand how to study child care supply and demand, analyze their findings, identify areas of child care deserts, and implement policy solutions that ensure parents have access to quality child care. At the local and state levels, child care leaders (especially CCR&Rs) have traditionally examined child care access, conducted needs assessments, and mapped supply and demand for target populations.
Following the inaugural launch of our Child Care Deserts report in fall 2016, Child Care Aware® of America is working with 15 states to take a deeper look at and map their unique child care deserts. Creation of a baseline map of supply and demand can lay the groundwork for additional studies around the location of child care programs of varying levels of quality, including licensed programs and programs participating in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). The interactive story maps and resources developed for each of the states are the result of collaboration between child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agencies, various state agencies and partners, and the CCAoA research and NDS teams.
Each state has a unique child care desert story to tell. Visit our website to learn more about this expanded initiative and to explore each state’s story, interactive map, and advocacy resources. We will add more story maps throughout the summer.