Early Learning Dashboards

Child Care Need and Supply Data

Statewide, DCYF estimates that families of about 305,000 children age B-5 not yet in school need child care. Only about 34% of those children are enrolled in licensed child care or preschool.

The percent of need met for child care and preschool for young children varies widely across the state.

The maps below illustrate the estimated percent of child care need for these families currently met by licensed child care and preschool. To capture the variability of met need across the state, maps are available by County, Legislative District, and Zip Code.


“Need” estimate from American Community Survey, defined as all available parents in the labor force.

“Supply” estimate from March 2021 DCYF facilities licensing, subsidized childcare, and ECEAP/Head Start counts.

Data Source: DCYF Early Learning Data Store, Eligibility Table (ELDS); March 2021 release.


WaSTEM logo In order to create this data dashboard, we partnered with Washington STEM  to create a tool that reflects the current state of Washington’s child care capacity and demand. This tool was made possible by combining data and expertise from DCYF’s Office of Innovation, Alignment, and Accountability, and the technical expertise of Washington STEM.

Data File: Coming soon!

Questions? For questions about the maps or underlying data, please contact: oiaa@dcyf.wa.gov.