Regulated child care remains in short supply across Oregon, creating child care “deserts” in all 36 of the state’s counties, a new report from Oregon State University shows.
Child care deserts exist when there are three or more children for a single regulated child care slot. Regulated care includes child care centers and home-based providers that are licensed by the state.
Across Oregon, there are eight infants and toddlers ages 0-2 per slot, while there are three preschool-aged children, 3-5, for every slot. All 36 Oregon counties are child care deserts for infants and toddlers two and under. All but nine Oregon counties are child care deserts for preschoolers.
“Availability of child care plays a critical role in the lives of Oregon’s families with young children, including if, where and when parents work,” said Dr. Megan Pratt, assistant professor of practice in the Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences and the Extension Family and Community Health Program. “There’s also a growing understanding of the central role stable, quality child care plays in supporting a child’s early development, providing the foundation for life-long learning and well-being.”
The report, “Oregon’s Child Care Deserts,” was commissioned by the Oregon Early Learning Division which partners with OSU on child care research through the Oregon Child Care Research Partnership. The report’s authors are Dr. Pratt, Dr. Roberta Weber and Ms. Michaella Sektnan, all of OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
Full article with more findingsTags: Friday Letter Submission