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Research Shows Local Working Parents Challenged by Affordability, Availability of Childcare

For Immediate Release

Two reports commissioned by The San Diego Foundation include surveys and interviews with over 850 San Diego families and 900 local childcare providers

April 28, 2022 – San Diego, CA – The San Diego Foundation released today two reports that demonstrate the continued challenges local working parents face in obtaining quality, affordable childcare in the region.

“Many parents are forced to make a difficult decision — stay engaged in the workforce or care for their children themselves,” said Katie Rast, Director of Community Impact at The San Diego Foundation. “The availability of quality, affordable childcare is critical to maintaining and growing San Diego’s workforce.”

One report, “Workforce, Childcare & Change: Understanding the Needs of Working Parents in the San Diego Region,” included surveys and interviews of over 850 local parents in English and Spanish; nearly half of all respondents had at least one child between the ages of 0 and 5. Survey findings include:

The report also found that single parents were more likely to experience negative work-related impacts during the pandemic, such as shifting their schedule to care for children and/or experiencing decreased hours or job loss. Reflecting national data, local women have disengaged from the workforce due to childcare-related challenges at greater rates than their male counterparts, with 25% of mothers choosing not to work at some point during the pandemic due to lack of childcare as compared to 9% of fathers.

In another report, “San Diego County Childcare Landscape: An Analysis of the Supply and Demand,” conducted by the Nonprofit Institute at the University of San Diego on behalf of The San Diego Foundation, researchers found that the annual cost of care for one infant in a licensed childcare center in San Diego costs over $19,000; care for two children (one infant and one preschooler) costs over $33,000 annually. Additionally, families with two young children (one infant and one preschooler) spend a median of 40% of their income on childcare.

The report also surveyed 900 childcare providers in the county and found 93% of providers had difficulty hiring qualified staff. Childcare availability was also concentrated in specific areas of the county, with some of the wealthiest zip codes having enough childcare spots and others with little to no available licensed care.

The data from both reports was presented as part of The San Diego Foundation’s “Workforce, Childcare & Change” virtual event held Thursday, April 28. To view the virtual event, which includes commentary from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, employers, childcare providers and researchers, visit The San Diego Foundation’s YouTube channel.

This data was collected as part of The San Diego Foundation’s Early Childhood Initiative, which is dedicated to increasing access to affordable, quality early care for children in San Diego, strengthening families and supporting a competitive regional workforce. To view the research, which includes employer recommendations and insight from childcare providers, visit workforce.sdfoundation.org.


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