Great Learning

Estimating Changes in the Supply and Demand for Child Care in Philadelphia

In 2014, Reinvestment Fund analyzed the supply and demand for child care in Philadelphia and identified areas of the city where targeted investments could help address the shortage of high-quality child care. Now in the second year, we updated the original analysis to track changes over time in the supply, demand, and shortage of child care. To provide greater access to the research results, Reinvestment Fund created an interactive online tool, located at www.childcaremap.org. The tool identifies neighborhoods where high-quality child care is scarce in absolute and relative terms, while also giving funders, practitioners, and child care advocates better data on where resources and intervention are needed.


As was the case in 2014, no single data source can adequately model the supply and quality of child care; nor is there any single dataset which can project the demand for child care services. To estimate supply and demand, Reinvestment Fund uses statistically derived estimates built from multiple sources of data. The data sources, statistical and spatial methodologies used in this report are based on established methodology from the initial 2014 study, supported by and developed alongside the project’s advisory group, which included local early childhood experts in Philadelphia.


Echoing the 2014 results, the 2015 update did not find a substantial gap between the total supply of child care and the demand for care across the city. However, while certain neighborhoods saw improvements in the provision of child care over the past year of study, a shortage of certified and high-quality child care options still exists in many areas of the city.


Published: May 2016
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