YMCA Childcare Resource Service (CRS) provides innovative services tailored to the unique needs of families and child care providers.

In 2022, YMCA CRS conducted a comprehensive needs assessment of child care providers in San Diego County, uncovering critical challenges that threaten the sector's sustainability. This assessment aimed to understand providers’ current practices, challenges, and resource needs, especially related to the health and sustainability of their business. Our findings highlight the urgent need for additional support and investment to ensure the ongoing viability of child care services in our community.

Key Findings from the Needs Assessment

  1. Financial Health and Compensation Concerns: Many providers are deeply concerned about their programs' financial stability and fair compensation. Without equitable policies and rate reform, child care providers may struggle to continue offering quality care, which impacts the entire community.
  2. Sustainability Amid Universal Transitional Kindergarten: The full phase-in of universal transitional kindergarten for four-year-olds presents a significant threat to the long-term sustainability of many child care businesses. To sustain programs that previously served this age group, higher reimbursement rates and incentives for serving younger children should be considered.
  3. Changing Family Dynamics in Securing Child Care: There is a noticeable shift in how families are finding and securing child care to include more online strategies, impacting providers' marketing efforts. Child care providers must adapt to new dynamics to maintain their client base.
  4. Overwork vs. Professional Development: Providers are caught in a tension between being overworked and their desire to engage in professional development and networking opportunities. Increasing access to training, tools, and compensating providers for learning is essential for their growth and well-being.

Our Response: Comprehensive Support for Providers

In response to these challenges, CRS is committed to bridging the gaps by offering a suite of business support services. These include:

  • One-on-One Support and Resources: Personalized coaching to address individual needs and challenges.
  • Training and Technical Assistance: Programs designed to enhance operational efficiency and financial stability, including budgeting, pricing tools, payment collection, marketing strategies, and more.
  • Professional Development Opportunities: High-quality training opportunities that are flexible and virtual, along with training incentives and self-care resources.

Finding Ways to Take Action

Despite these efforts, we know that we cannot solve this crisis alone. The community's collective support and investment are needed. To ensure our communities thrive, we must prioritize:

  • Equitable Compensation and Respect: Child care providers should be seen, heard, respected, and compensated for their critical work. We must create and advocate for equitable policies that prioritize fair compensation through rate reform, ensuring that providers receive increased and equitable wages.
  • Enhanced Access to Resources and Education: To improve the quality of child care services, providers need access to funding, education, multilingual trainings, and technical assistance. Expanding and sustaining programs like the County of San Diego's ARPA-funded Child Care Workforce Investment Program and Shared Service Alliance will increase access to culturally reflective coaching, technical assistance, and higher education for providers.
  • Expanding Child Care Capacity and Infrastructure: We must expand child care provider capacity and improve access to child care facilities by funding infrastructure for new providers and supporting the growth of existing providers.

By working together, we can create a sustainable and thriving child care sector that meets the evolving needs of our community.

For full details on how CRS supports providers and how you can take action, read our brief here.

Join the Movement

If you're passionate about advocating for child care, there are opportunities to get involved, including with initiatives like the Children's First Collective. Together, we can work towards a brighter future where every family has access to quality, affordable child care.