Stories of educational challenges as a direct result of COVID-19 have become quite commonplace. One deeply underexplored area, however, is that of child care’s impact on the greater economy amidst the pandemic. Small-scale surveys and anecdotal evidence have pointed to challenges within the industry as enrollment falls and stay-at-home orders force facilities to close.
Yet, the longevity of these programs is a critical factor in any economic recovery plans. Child care contributes $99 billion to our GDP annually and generates employment for nearly two million workers. It is also a critical enabler of working parents, allowing them – and especially women – to work and raise a family at the same time. And an already limited child care market pre-pandemic kept at least two million parents home annually.
To understand the impact of the pandemic on child care in the United States and forecast the potential for economic recovery, Curacubby and the California Quality Early Learning (CQEL) commissioned the largest national survey of child care facilities to date in 2020. The infographic below explores our key findings.