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A Changing Child Care Landscape: Early Childhood in Wisconsin

  • Pre-COVID-19, 54% of our state’s population lived in a child care desert and in the last decade, 9% of group child care and 70% of family child care programs closed.
  • Working families with infants and toddlers struggle with child care costs, availability, geographic disparities and waiting lists. Businesses have a hard time filling vacant positions due to potential employee’s inability to find child care, while child care programs continue to shut their doors due to low wages for early child educators.
  • Today, 25%-30% of our pre-COVID-19 child care slots are now in temporarily or permanently closed programs, which translates to a loss of approx. 50,000 regulated child care slots.
  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) recently released a survey showing that without a major federal relief package, up to 80% of child care programs will be closed by or before Summer of 2021.

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