The Devastating Impact of COVID-19 on California Child Care: Data from the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment


In an effort to understand the effects of COVID-19 on child care programs and early educators throughout California, the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at UC Berkeley conducted a survey of licensed child care centers and licensed family child care programs in the state. 

More than 2,000 programs responded to the survey and the results show the devastating impact of COVID-19 on California child care programs. A few key findings are listed below. Click here to read the full article, or click here to view and download a data snapshot

  • Survey results confirm the precarious nature of the child care industry, where programs operate on thin margins and staff earn poverty wages.

  • Programs are having difficulty getting essential supplies.

    • 62% of open programs are having difficulty obtaining either cleaning or sanitizing supplies or personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff.

    • 69% of open programs indicate that they would like mini-grants for cleaning supplies and/or sanitizing services.

    • 21% of open programs say they are having difficulty obtaining food for their program.

  • Programs and educators have not received clear guidance on regulatory changes from the state.

    • 37% of all programs would like clear guidance on regulatory changes (e.g., closures, social distancing, ratios).

  • California child care programs and early educators need financial relief now – otherwise, many programs will not survive this crisis.

    • Programs are suffering, whether they remain open or have already closed

    • Essential services, including child care, should not be forced to fend for themselves. Child care needs its own dedicated financial stimulus, and it cannot come soon enough.

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