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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Marshall

Child care/ECE dashboards and CACFP maps

As we all know the Child and Adult Care Food Program doesn't exist in a vacuum.

Demographics, challenges, as well as investments, within the whole child care/early childhood system impact your programs. Knowing the data can help contextualize the need for investments in your programs and CACFP. Here are some new data dashboards that can help us do this!


Child Care Aware of America has been working on Mapping the Gap in CACFP participation since 2019. In partnership with states, the maps tell a story about where CACFP participation does and does not meet the needs of the population. You can see overall participation in the state, participation within food deserts, areas where eligibility is a potential, food insecurity and more. It's also fun to see where there are success stories and consider why those states or localities within those states have high participation, such as Montana's spotlight of Lincoln County in the Mapping the Meal Gap section.

Child Care and Early Learning in the United States: Data Dashboard

Center for American Progress used numerous datasets to create the Data Dashboard. A few examples include; U.S. Census data and National Survey of Children's Health as well as published resources such as Price of Care: 2022 Child Care Affordability Analysis and the State of Preschool Yearbook. One can access data for specific states or for the entire nation. They provide information for 7 topical areas:

"1) demographics and population characteristics of young children; 2) the cost of child care; 3) access and supply of child care; 4) average wages and employment of child care workers; 5) state exclusionary discipline policies for early care and education programs; 6) Head Start enrollment and program access; and 7) state child care program standards" (Schneider & Gibbs, 2023).

There are a variety of ways to access and utilize the information. This webinar provides an overview of the tool and suggestions for how to use it to "Build a Comprehensive State Child Care Agenda."

ECE Policy Across the U.S., 2020 - Present

Child Care Aware of America with support from The Alliance for Early Success has created a tool to use to see what states are (or are not) supporting and/or investing in child care and early childhood education. You'll find a map in which you can choose a state and see what they are doing or you can use a filter to see the states that have:

  • ECE Ballot measures in 2023

  • ECE Ballot measures in 2024 (in progress)

  • States expanding subsidy eligibility

  • States funding workforce supports

  • States limiting copayments to 7%

  • States funding FCC policies

  • States reimbursing on enrollment

It's good to know what's going on in your state but can also be useful to see what's happening elsewhere to support child care/ece for ideas or point to policies that others are supporting.

How do you think you could use this information in your work and/or advocacy or do you have additional resources to share?


Learn more and register for this online event with the Walking Classroom! Happening on February 28th at 10:00 a.m. pacific.


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