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| 1 minute read

Top Three Takeaways for States to Address the Child Care Crisis

Three years into the pandemic, one of the biggest challenges we hear consistently in communities, in addition to housing accessibility and affordability, is child care. Recently American Progress identified the "Top 5 Actions Governors Can Take To Address the Child Care Shortage," but here are three considerations for your community: 

  1. Increase funding and support for child care providers: Advocating for governors to provide financial support to child care providers, including through grants, tax credits, and subsidies, to help centers cover the costs of providing care and improve the quality of care.

  2. Expand access to child care assistance: States can expand eligibility for child care assistance programs to ensure more families have access to affordable child care. This can be done by increasing income eligibility thresholds, simplifying application processes, and increasing program funding.

  3. Create partnerships between child care providers and employers: Community organizations like chambers of commerce and workforce development agencies can encourage partnerships between child care centers and employers to help address the shortage of child care in their communities. This can include providing financial incentives to employers that help their employees access child care, creating on-site child care programs, and supporting the development of employer-supported child care cooperatives.

We'd love to hear what your community is considering to address child care. Reach out at to learn more about how Fourth Economy can support your community with analysis and engagement to understand industry sector growth, occupational growth, and community needs to prioritize child care needs.

From February 2020 through July 2022, nearly 90,000 providers left the child care industry. The U.S. child care shortage is placing heavy costs on families and ECE providers alike. Absent federal legislation to address the crisis, it falls to states to take action and adopt policies that will increase the supply of high-quality, affordable child care. As the infusion of resources from federal COVID-19 relief funding comes to an end, governors must take the lead in calling for equitable policies to address the current crisis. State policies are needed to fairly compensate providers for the skilled work they perform, incentivize the creation of programs in child care deserts, and relieve families from the high cost of care. Governors should institute reforms that will leave lasting positive impacts on child care in their states and that better support working families.