Understanding Access to Child Care

Research Team: Evelyn Blumenberg (lead), Zhiyuan Yao, and Madeline Wander

UC Campus(es): UCLA

Problem Statement: The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the necessity of child care as essential infrastructure. Without access to affordable child care, working outside of the home is difficult or, in many cases, impossible. The need for child care is particularly pressing for mothers who continue to bear disproportionate responsibility for their children. Child care is in short supply and access varies across neighborhoods by income, race, and ethnicity.

Project Description: The research team studied travel related to child care in California, a topic that has received relatively little attention. The researchers examined whether geographic disparities in access to child care are associated with the distance that parents have to travel to child care centers. The study drewon travel survey data from the California add-on to the 2017 National Household Travel Survey and the 2010-12 California Household Travel Survey. The team negotiated an agreement with the California Department of Social Services to access data on the spatial location of licensed day care and family care providers in the state.

Status: Completed

Budget: $7,500

Policy Brief(s):