Over the past year, under contract with the Think Babies™ NC Alliance, Child Care Services Association (CCSA) conducted a statewide and county-level study to assess the supply of infant-toddler care in North Carolina and the impact of COVID-19 on the infant-toddler child care landscape. This report combines a variety of data, surveys and focus groups to paint a picture of how our child care system is serving our youngest children and how things have changed from pre-pandemic, through 2020 and 2021, to today. The bottom line: infant-toddler child care is hard to find, hard to afford and hard to provide, creating huge challenges for babies, families, early educators and communities.
This Infant-Toddler Child Care Landscape Study highlights an existing situation that was worsened by the effects of COVID-19. It offers a critical examination of the status of child care for our youngest children to better understand our history and current situation, and to help inform our future goals and strategies to support families and child care programs.