How the pandemic has impacted California child care supply

All across the nation the child care supply plummeted as a result of shelter in place orders and parents’ job losses keeping children at home. Without regular income and with ongoing expenses, many child care providers did not have enough revenue flow to keep their businesses open.

The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment reported that nationally the child care industry was only 83 percent as large in October 2020 as it was in February 2020. In California, the child care sector was recognized as an essential service and efforts were made to continue paying on contracts and providing cleaning supplies and services to keep these vital providers in business.

One year into this pandemic, we have seen California’s child care supply swiftly dwindle as shown by these time-lapse graphs.

For more information about the graphs contact: Gemma DiMatteo at

Data Source:
California Department of Social Services, Child Care Licensing Division


California Child Care Supply During COVID-19

These graphs show the change in available child care between January 2020 and January 2021.


Impact of COVID-19 on Child Care Supply 3/1/21 Webinar Recording

View the recording of our 3/1/21 webinar to learn more about the methodology in producing the graphs:

Child Care Reopening Resources

EveryChild CA Opening & Reopening Support Guide

This guide contains helpful checklists and resources to support child care programs in opening or reopening safely during COVID.


Child Care Reopening Flowchart

CCR&Rs can use this infographic to guide those conversations and offer considerations when reopening after the pandemic or transitioning back to daily operations.


Child Care Cleaning & Supplies Checklists

Infant/toddler and preschool child care programs can use these checklists to make sure that they are fully stocked with cleaning supplies to keep their programs safe and clean.


Additional Resources:

Definitions of Closures in Health and Safety Code

  • Forfeiture: Health and Safety Code Section 1596.858
  • Revocation: Health and Safety Code Section 1596.885
  • Temporary Closures: Suspension Health and Safety Code Section 1596.886
  • Inactive Status: HSC 1596.8535

Child Care Initiative Project Information

Additional Child Care Supply & Demand Data

Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) Regarding Waivers Available for Licensed Child Care Facilities and License-Exempt Providers Due to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)