Strategy Spotlight

Foundational Funding for Child Care: The National Picture

May 2024 | Tags: Funding Strategy, Quality, Workforce, Maine

A movement to reimagine child care funding is underway. Child care centers and family child care homes have long struggled to survive and thrive. In a 2019 survey of 35 states, the Bipartisan Policy Center found that existing child care slots met less than 70% of potential need, and families report difficulty finding affordable, quality child care in communities nationwide. This long-term, ongoing failure of the child care market is driven primarily by the parent-paid financing model that can support only low pay and produces high staff turnover.

In a 2024 survey conducted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), 68% of child care centers reported a staffing shortage. This shortage inhibits growth, limits quality improvement, and drives many programs to close. The states and local governments featured in this Spotlight have developed innovative responses to this crisis, all providing a layer of “foundational funding” to stabilize and expand child care operations and grow the workforce.