September 27, 2021

Child Care Staffing Survey Results

A new survey conducted by partners of the Start Strong PA Campaign quantifies Pennsylvania’s current child care crisis, which threatens parents’ ability to work and the overall economy.

Staffing Crisis

The survey— conducted between August 30, 2021 and September 8, 2021—  details the current child care staffing crisis in 1,163 Pennsylvania child care programs across 63 counties and its effects on working families’ ability to access care.

According to the survey:

  • Nearly 26,000 children currently sit on waiting lists.
  • More than 34,000 additional children could be served at respondents’ sites if they were fully staffed.
  • 92% of respondents reported staffing shortages.
  • 51% of respondents have closed at least one classroom.

According to responses from the 160 Allegheny County programs that took the survey:

  • 97% indicated they have a staffing shortage.
  • 5,034 children sit on waiting lists.
  • 315 classrooms have closed.
  • An additional 4,357 children could be served if all programs were fully staffed.

These survey results depict a deepening crisis in the child care sector. Child care providers continue to incur additional pandemic-related costs while operating significantly under capacity. Between March 2020 and August 2021, over 850 Pennsylvania providers have closed permanently and another 350 have temporarily closed.

More Information

To learn more about the survey, visit the Start Strong PA website. To ask Congress to consider a budget reconciliation process that would include $450 billion outlined in the American Families and Jobs Plans for child care and pre-k, visit the Trying Together advocacy page and take action.