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Since 2017, Reinvestment Fund has been working to study the supply and demand for child care in the five-county metro Atlanta region (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties). This report summarizes trends in the region’s child care sector since 2017 and identifies areas of shortage in 2022.

One of the largest changes in the region has been the continued implementation of Georgia’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, known as “Quality Rated.” Since 2017, participation in the program has nearly doubled, but the region still has substantial shortages of Quality Rated care. With a capacity of only 97,500 in Quality Rated programs, for example, the region has a shortage of 161,000 in Quality Rated programs.

Understanding the location of child care supply and Quality Rated programs is just one of the important inputs policymakers and stakeholders should consider when designing programs to address access to child care. To that end, this report also includes an analysis looking at how child care shortages impact families at different income levels and how shortages impact areas that employ lower-income workers. Notwithstanding the expansion of Quality Rated participation, overall shortages in care remain and continue to disproportionately impact lower-income families and people of color. As in 2018, our analysis revealed that residents of areas with high concentrations of families in poverty, lower-income areas, and areas with higher concentrations of Hispanic households are disproportionately impacted by child care shortages.

 

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