Impacts on Childcare Providers

The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the ongoing challenges that childcare providers face.

While the amount of available childcare spots in the region has been declining for years, a total of 1,956 licensed care spots were lost between 2019 and 2022.4

Number of licensed Childcare Spots4

Number of licensed Childcare Providers4

While childcare fees are unaffordable for many parents, fees are often still not enough to cover the true cost to provide high-quality care.

Across the region, 78% of licensed childcare providers report losing money or just breaking even.

Despite financial challenges, 79% of providers said they want to grow, and only 2% of respondents reported that they plan to close within the next 12 months.4

In the San Diego region, 74,035 children ages 0-5 lack access to licensed care.4

In the San Diego region, nearly half (48%) of children under age 5 do not have a stay-at-home parent and do not have an available licensed childcare space.4

Geography matters: some of the wealthiest zip codes have enough childcare spots, others have little to no available licensed care.

Availability and Demand for Licensed Child Care:
A Focus on Children 0-5 years4

Availability and Demand for Licensed Child Care:
A Focus on Children 0-23 months4


of parents say that it is a challenge to find childcare in San Diego County.2

“The good childcare options are not affordable. If you find a good program, there’s already 50 people in line.”

— Mom from National City3