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Child Care Partnership Council Releases Local Child Care Needs Assessment

Jan 19, 2023    |   Local News & Resources
Early Childhood Education and early childhood care childrens' needs assessed

The Child Care Partnership Council (CCPC), San Mateo County’s local child care and development planning council, released its countywide Child Care Needs Assessment. The complete report, which describes the current status of child care and early learning supply and demand for children ages 0-12 years in San Mateo County, is available on the San Mateo County Office of Education website.  The Child Care Needs Assessment is prepared every five years, following a countywide survey. Survey results are used to inform San Mateo County child care policies and priorities.

In 2022, the CCPC released two additional, informative reports based on a Child Care Workforce Survey and Nanny Survey. These can also be found on the SMCOE website.  

Following are some of the topline findings of the child care and workforce needs assessments.

1. Child care Needs Assessment: Topline Summary  

As those working in the field of child care know, demand for child care exceeded supply even before the onset of the pandemic,  and the gap between need and availability has only worsened since that time.

In 2022, the current shortage of child care spaces for children 0-12 years old was approximately 17,000. 

  •  71% of demand for child care spaces was met in 2022; that is expected to decline to 66% by 2032.

  • Between 2017 and 2022, there has been a loss of 101 FCCH providers (a 16% decline) and 897 spaces (a 13% decline) in the County.

  • Since 2017 there has been a decline in the number of center-based providers, but an increase in center-based child care spaces.

  • Countywide, there is a shortage of about 26,000 subsidized spaces.

  • 73% of parents surveyed stated that they have turned down work due to a lack of child care.

2. Workforce Survey: Themes and Trends 

The Workforce Survey was conducted through conversations with child care providers via individual interviews and focus groups, and via a county-wide child care workforce survey.  

Key findings:

  • Wages and benefits are currently stagnant, but need to be competitive to attract additional employees. Hiring and finding a qualified applicant pool are key challenges. 

  • Current members of the workforce would like to see more employee benefits and more resources for their child care programs.

  • Approximately 67% of directors/owners/administrators noted that their programs have child care vacancies, while 41% have waitlists. 

  • Some survey respondents noted a diminished enrollment of preschool and school-aged children; others have a waitlist for infants and toddlers.

  • 66% of survey participants plan to stay in the sector during the next 12 months. Data suggests that the demographic most inclined to leave the sector is 18-39 year olds.

  • Children have experienced delayed development (e.g. problem-solving, social emotional; motor functions, etc.) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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