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:


December 8, 2021

Report Highlights Home-Based Child Care as Key to Economic Recovery

Trying Together, Allegheny County child care providers, business leaders, and advocates joined representatives of state legislative offices and members of the community on December 7, 2021 to release a new report from the nonprofit ReadyNation on the importance of protecting and strengthening home-based child care – calling such actions essential to supporting our state’s working parents and to bolstering our economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19.


The report, “Home-Based Child Care: A Key to Keeping the Pennsylvania Workforce and Economy Strong,” documents that the number of family child care homes has dropped 32 percent across Pennsylvania in recent years. In fact, almost half of the 1,000+ child care providers that have closed permanently since the onset of the pandemic have been home-based providers. The report cautions that given the current overall shortage of child care, particularly for infants, this decrease in home-based child care availability is especially problematic.

The panel discussion focused on the need to include home-based child care as part of state and federal efforts to stabilize and strengthen the overall child care system. Noting that home-based child care is frequently overlooked when discussing solutions to the present child care crisis, the report identifies reforms focused on quality caregiving and sustainability. Specifically, the report recommends:

  1. Enhanced mentorship opportunities for home-based providers;
  2. Revising the Keystone STARS Program to recognize key differences among home-based providers and ensure that high-quality home-based providers can more readily become rated as high-quality;
  3. Increasing compensation to cover the actual cost of high-quality care through subsidy rates and reform the reimbursement rates for home-based high-quality care;
  4. Stabilizing the budgets of home-based child care providers through participation in programs like Infant Toddler Contracted Slots; and, 
  5. Engaging in public education and promotion efforts statewide on the importance of high-quality child care across all settings.

More Information

To learn more about the panel discussion, read this news release or view the recording.