Statewide, DCYF estimates that families of about 278,000 children age B-5 not yet in school need child care, because all available parents in the home are working. Only about 26% of these children are served by licensed child care, preschool, and/or subsidized child care.
Additionally, we estimate that families of over 495,000 school-age children (kindergarten through age 12) are in need of care, and only about 12% of these children are served by licensed child care, preschool, and/or subsidized child care.
The percent of need met for child care, preschool, and/or subsidized child care for children of all ages varies widely across the state.
The maps below illustrate the estimated percent of child care need for families currently met by licensed child care, preschool, and/or subsidized child care. To capture the variability of met need across the state, maps are available by County, School District, Legislative District, and Zip Code.
“Need” estimates are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, defined as children with all available parents in the labor force.
“Supply” estimates are from DCYF subsidy warrant data (including Family, Friends, and Neighbor care), ECEAP enrollment data, Head Start slot counts, and estimates of private pay child care participation. Supply estimates do not include Transitional Kindergarten programs operated by school districts.
Data Source: DCYF Early Learning Data Store 2.0 (ELDS 2.0); February 2023 release.
|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.|
Questions? For questions about the maps or underlying data, email email@example.com.