The COVID-19 pandemic has sharply illuminated what every working family already knew, Child Care IS Essential. 

Child care provides supports for both the parent/guardian and child and ensures our youngest children receive the safe and nurturing care they need to thrive. Child care also allows parents to continue working to provide for their family’s needs. 

According to the Resource and Referral Network in California 33% of licensed child care centers and 14% of licensed family child care homes have closed their doors since the start of the pandemic. This represents a significant loss of an already precarious private and state supported child care capacity.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, more than 2.3 million women have left the labor market entirely since the beginning of the pandemic in the United States. Lean In and the McKinsey & Co estimate that 1 in 4 women are considering leaving the workforce or downshifting their careers due to the impact of COVID-19.

We must work together to make meaningful investments in the lives of California’s young children and their families. To do this, we need to fully fund early care and education to serve the state’s eligible children in need.

View our budget letter submitted to Governor Newsom for 2021-22.

Every story matters; reach out to your local policymakers and let them know why childcare is important for your family with our template letter.  





From 2016-2019, California’s youngest children with no access to care surged by roughly 1.1 million. Today, it is estimated that nearly 2.3 million income eligible children in need of child care did not receive services. “Children younger than 3 years old are especially in need of childcare, with 8 out of 9 eligible infants and toddlers not enrolled in a subsidized program.”

  • Children of color make up 74.7% of Californian’s child population. Children of color make up 86.1% of children eligible for subsidized child care and development programs.

  • The cost of child care is prohibitively high in California for all families.


Another barrier standing between families and child care is the lack of facilities in the state. We must build up the ECE facilities infrastructure to accommodate more children being served.


A fairly paid workforce is a critical component of improving early learning and care for California’s families. California is still using the 2016 RMR survey rates even though the 2018 RMR survey has been available for two years.

The ECE Coalition is thankful for the continued partnership with the Administration and the Legislature in recognizing the need of child care for Californian's and essential workers.