March 2, 2022

Survey: Chronic Child Care Staffing Shortages Persist, Threaten Economy

To understand the depth of the ongoing child care crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has been surveying thousands of programs across states and settings. Current survey results show that federal and state relief funds have provided critical support for stabilizing child care programs.

NAEYC Pandemic Survey

NAEYC’s newest survey results, completed in January 2022 by nearly 5,000 respondents working in child care centers and family child care homes, shows that two-thirds of respondents reported experiencing a staffing shortage that affected their ability to serve families. The survey also showed that stabilization grants provided through the American Rescue Plan were critical in helping child care facilities stay open, including during the recent COVID-19 Omicron wave, even if providers were simultaneously unable to serve all families who needed care.


  • 75% of respondents reported that the end of stabilization grants would have a negative or highly negative effect on their programs.

  • Of the respondents who said they knew enough about Build Back Better’s investments in child care and pre-k to answer the question, 89% agreed that it would “secure the future of our program,” including 86% of respondents from family child care homes and 85% of respondents from faith-based programs.

  • 28% of respondents reported that they are definitely or maybe considering leaving their program or closing their child care home in 2022. This comes on top of recent findings from Child Care Aware of America indicating that between December 2019 and March 2021—during the pandemic but before ARP funds started to go out—8,889 child care centers and 6,957 licensed family child care homes were permanently closed.

More Information

For access to prior survey data and analyses:

Image: An early learning provider stands in a playground with two young children playing around her.