The Issues

It’s no secret that the child care sector is in crisis.

Price: High prices make it challenging for parents to find quality child care. Across the country, the annual price of child care exceeds that of college tuition.

Supply: There aren’t enough providers to meet the demand. Forty percent of the child care workforce is women of color — and many are leaving the field because they aren’t paid enough.

Funding: The U.S. spends less than 0.5% of GDP on child care, far less than other industrialized countries.

Child care providers support the health and well-being of children. Yet there are vast inequities in the system. The national median wage for child care workers in 2022 was around $14 per hour ($13.71), hardly a living wage, and most don’t have employer-provided health insurance or other benefits.

The low pay for workers and the high cost for families points to insufficient public investment in child care and leaves families and child care providers to bear the burden of supporting the current system.

Explore some of the key issues around child care, including physical and emotional health of the children served, research on the sector, and how we can make child care more diverse, equitable and inclusive.

Brain Building for Child Care Programs

Activities that support social emotional learning of young minds. 

Health and Nutrition

Healthy activities for children and providers. 

DEI in Child Care

Explore resources and issues for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive child care system. 

Emergency Preparedness

How providers keep children safe in an emergency.

Public Policy

Learn about the laws that regulate and fund child care programs across the nation. 


Explore data that highlights the needs of the child care sector.