In Clackamas County, less than 15% of children under 2 have access to a child care slot. This is preventing many adults from being able to return to work, which has greatly contributed to the workforce shortage that is preventing the economy from being able to fully recover from the pandemic. At the same time, child care providers are having a hard time keeping and hiring staff. Wages are low and requirements are high making it less desirable than other jobs. This, unstable funding and difficulty finding and renovating facilities to meet licensing requirements create great challenges for existing or potential child care businesses, which further undermine efforts to expand child care services to meet current needs. Child care issues more heavily impact women as child caring responsibilities often fall on women, keeping women out of the workforce, particularly in communities of color. It also happens that the majority of child care providers are women, many of whom are struggling and are often low-income themselves.
All families in Clackamas County will have access to quality, affordable child care that meets their unique needs.
The Task Force will have recommendations on solutions for each puzzle piece above by June 2022 so that we can all begin paving the path forward. Stay tuned for small goals on our journey!
Child Care For All is an ambitious goal because we know that providers, families and children cannot wait for solutions. Within two years we plan that Clackamas County will be on a path to universally accessible child care. There are many pieces of the puzzle to solve in getting there. Broadly, our path to universal care looks like:
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