& Change

Understanding the needs of working parents in the San Diego region

Creating a More Resilient Future

As we recover from the pandemic, understanding the needs of children, working parents and care providers is essential to constructing a more resilient future. This report aims to provide a regionalized picture of the current perspectives of working parents, capacity of the childcare provider industry, and the role that access to quality, affordable care plays in ensuring parents can remain engaged in the workforce.

Explore the Report

The Way We Work is Undergoing a Transformation

Explore how the needs of working parents are key to reimagining how we work, strengthening the local workforce, and bolstering the regional economy.

Impacts on Working Parents

Gain insight into the needs of working parents, gathered by surveying more than 850 parents in the San Diego region.

Impacts on Childcare Providers

Explore findings related to childcare supply and demand, including the results of a survey of over 900 local childcare providers.

Building the Workforce of Tomorrow

Learn how employers can be part of the solution to support working families in our region while strengthening organizational attraction and retention.


This regional picture has been informed by surveying over 850 parents, completed in June 2021 and February 2022, conducted by FM3 Research and commissioned by San Diego Foundation for the purpose of better understanding the perspectives of working parents in the San Diego region. A parent focus group was also administered by FM3 Research. Also featured is the University of San Diego’s report Childcare Landscape: April 2022, which was sponsored by San Diego Foundation, and provides insights into the local childcare industry capacity. Additional references are included, and noted in each section.


We would like to thank the partners and stakeholders who took the time to provide valuable input to this report.

Report Author

Katie Rast, San Diego Foundation

Contributors and Thought Partners

Lani Bautista Cabanilla, San Diego Foundation
Victoria Calisch, San Diego Foundation
Joy Decena, San Diego Foundation
Emily Field, Robert Half International, Inc.
Kyra R. Green, PhD, Center on Policy Initiatives
Jon Haber, San Diego Foundation
Eduardo Velasquez, San Diego Regional EDC

Local Childcare Provider Data

Produced by The Nonprofit Institute at the University of San Diego
Research led by Tessa Tinkler and Mehrnoush Jamshidi

USD Report Partners

First 5 San Diego, San Diego County Office of Education & YMCA of San Diego, with input from Alethea Arguilez, Laurie Han, Lucia Garay, Shelby Gomez, Kim McDougal

Polling and focus groups

Conducted by FM3 Research
Research led by Richard Bernard, Adam Sonenshein, Laura Covarrubias

Survey review and Input

Provided by Children First Collective participants: Roberto Alcantar, Miren Algorri, Alethea Arguilez, Courtney Baltiyskyy, Jolie Buberl, Lucia Garay, Blake Hofstad, Erin Hogeboom, Martin Huici, Laura Kohn, Robin Layton, Kim McDougal, Rick Richardson, David Sheppard, Lynn Twork

Local industry data

Provided by San Diego Regional EDC

Report Design


This effort was managed by the Community Impact team at San Diego Foundation, led by Pamela Gray Payton, in alignment with the goals of the Early Childhood Initiative.