“My whole paycheck is going to pay childcare.” (Florida parent)
“I’ve got to go back to work, but I can’t find a (childcare) spot. There’s just not the spots!” (Florida Parent)
“We don’t have as many seats because we don’t have the staff... and it’s not because of lack of demand.”
(Orange Co. Provider)
What The Research Is Saying...
Our research indicates that the early care and education industry (ECE) is not able to provide reliable and affordable access to quality childcare and early learning services for all Orange County families that need it.
Low wages and greater competition for workers have led to a teacher shortage, reducing available childcare spots, enrollment, quality, and profitability.
There are not enough childcare spots where many families live and work. Existing childcare providers struggle to remain financially viable, putting existing spots at risk and eroding quality.
This means that parents, especially mothers, can't return to work, and children are falling even further behind.
We are going to change that!
A research and planning project — funded by Helios Education Foundation and led by the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County and the K-Ready Community Project — was launched in 2022 to identify pilot innovations and policy solutions that address the childcare teacher and seat shortages and to create a better system of care and education in Orange County for all children under 5.
Read the reports below to find out more.