The early childhood education industry plays a vital role in Alaska’s economy, supporting working families and employers. It is key to Alaska’s full economic recovery from the pandemic. Understanding the child care landscape is a crucial first step toward advocating for affordable high-quality child care for all Alaskans.
As part of its Catalyzing Growth: Using Data to Change Child Care series, Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA) updated its data on child care supply, quality, and affordability in 2022. Alaska data can be found on an interactive map, including the number of child care programs, licensed capacity by program type, participation in the quality recognition and improvement system (Learn & Grow), and the number of family referrals.
The CCAoA report found evidence of national child care supply recovery based on the number of center-based programs open between 2019 and 2022. In Alaska, the number of licensed child care centers open in 2022 exceeded the number open in 2019, and the number of licensed family child care homes continued to decline in 2022; however, the rate of decline was slower than in prior years.
Additionally, CCAoA provides updated data on the Annual Price of Care in each state and across the country. The analysis found that while the price of child care continued to rise in 2022, it did not increase as much as in previous years. The rise in child care prices from 2021 to 2022 did not outpace inflation as it did in years past; in fact, inflation outpaced child care increases by 7%. This is most likely due to the uncharacteristic increases in inflation in 2022.
The data story of child care affordability and supply in 2022 is that investment in child care works. Read more about the national and local trends, and CCAoA recommendations here.
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