Tuesday, February 14, 2017

First Food...Now Child Care Deserts?

Food deserts are areas where fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful foods are hard to find due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers' markets, and healthy food providers. But a recent study shows that finding a child care program near home can be a struggle for many working families, too.

The study examined the location of child care centers in eight states that together comprise 20% of the U.S. population under the age of five. It found that 42% of these young children live in “child care deserts”—a ZIP code containing more than three children for every child care center slot.

On the whole, rural areas are more likely to be deserts than suburban or urban areas. But cities are not immune to limited child care supply: the study found Chicago to be the largest urban child care desert, with five out of every six children under the age of five living in a desert. Communities with high poverty rates are not necessarily more likely to be child care deserts. Areas with a poverty rate of 10 to 20% were most likely to qualify as child care deserts.

Source: Center for Law and Social Policy, 2/1/17, Child Care Deserts

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