The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing child care providers across the country to close. Between February and April 2020, employment in the child care industry dropped by about one third, losing 360,000 jobs. We do not yet know how this will affect the longer-term economic health of this sector. This has implications for the supply, quality, and price of child care for low-income families. This brief examines historical trends in employment and wages, particularly around the 2008 to 2009 recession, which may give us an idea of how this sector may respond to the current crisis. As of April 2020, the child care workforce has fallen below 2000 levels, a greater decline that almost every other industry sector.
Other ASPE products on child care can be found on our Early Childhood page.
- Child Care Subsidy Duration and Caseload Dynamics: A Multi-State Examination from 2004-2015: https://aspe.hhs.gov/system/files/pdf/259296/SubsidySpellsBrief.pdf
- Effects of the CCDF Subsidy Program on the Employment Outcomes of Low-Income Mothers: https://aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/effects-ccdf-subsidy-program-employment-outcomes-low-income-mothers
- A Policy to Provide Child Care Access for All Working Families: Effects on Mothers' Employment and Caseload: https://aspe.hhs.gov/system/files/pdf/255471/ChildCareBrief.pdf
- Supporting Employment Among Lower-Income Mothers: The Role of Paid Family Leave: https://aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/supporting-employment-among-lower-income-mothers-role-paid-family-leave