From Barriers to Bridges: Expanding Access to Child Care and Improving Upward Mobility for Georgia’s Child Care Workers


Executive Summary

The child care system in Georgia creates barriers to economic opportunity for women workers and early childhood education (ECE) teachers who are mostly women. Costs are too high relative to medium family income in most Georgia counties. For families of color, child care costs take up a greater share of their median family income compared to white families. Additionally, not all families have enough child care options available to them. Women often reduce their labor force participation to meet caregiving obligations, impacting their long-term earnings and wealth-building. Black women with young children tend to work more than their counterparts because they are often co- or main breadwinners and in greater need of child care. Georgia’s child care challenges that limit women’s ability to work have cost the state economy billions of dollars.[1]

Child care teachers, especially Black teachers, are disproportionately earning very low wages. Black educators are more likely to teach the youngest children and, therefore, earn less overall than their white peers. Low wages and few employer-sponsored benefits make it challenging for them to maintain their economic stability and prepare for the future. Furthermore, working conditions, like limited staffing and the need to constantly supervise children without enough breaks, make it difficult for some teachers to rest and prepare for lessons. The high-pressure work environment may also make it difficult for teachers to seek further education that could lead to better job opportunities and higher pay in early childhood education.

Leaders at both the state and national levels have the opportunity to strengthen Georgia’s child care system in ways that benefit children, families, the economy, and promote racial and gender equity. GBPI recommends:

  • Establishing a self-sustaining child care trust fund at the state level and a child care entitlement program at the national level to create a generational investment in the child care system
  • Expanding child care by supporting providers with capital investments and start-up costs
  • Increasing Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) subsidies so to reach more families
  • Increasing child care teacher pay and compensation and improving their work conditions
  • Providing enhanced educational requirements paired with adequate support and flexibility for current and prospective teachers


All Georgians are better off when more people can contribute to the economy. An economy that includes everyone means that more women and people of color can reach their full potential, which benefits local communities. In practice, an economy that supports everyone should also mean more robust local child care, characterized by lower costs for families and higher child care worker pay.

Lowering child care costs is especially important in Georgia because the cost of full-time child care for very young children is too high for the typical family. Often, that means women must work less or not at all to care for their children, resulting in fewer women being able to contribute to the economy. Additionally, early childhood education (ECE) teachers and staff, who are mostly women, cannot always fully provide for their families because their wages are so low. Research clearly shows that well-compensated and well-trained teachers are a critical component of safe, high-quality environments and that those environments are what young children need to learn and grow.[2] State and federal leaders can support families and workers and improve the state’s economy by increasing access to high-quality child care options. Through an expansion of high-quality and affordable child care, the state would lower barriers, like high child care costs, that keep people of color, people with low incomes and women from improving their economic security and moving toward opportunity.

Given available state and federal resources, high-quality child care should not be out of reach. Georgia leaders could use the funds from the multi-billion undesignated reserve to create a self-sustaining Child Care Trust Fund to lay a foundation for generational investment in children, families, workers and the economy.[3] With additional state funding and an expansion of federal funding, lawmakers can lower costs for families, boost teacher compensation and professional development and improve quality education and care for children.

This paper outlines the barriers parents, particularly mothers, face in accessing affordable, high-quality child care. GBPI also explores the challenges faced by child care teachers  in accessing greater workforce mobility within the early child care education industry. Further, this report sets forth pillars to create a bridge toward greater economic opportunity for Georgians.

Barriers to the current child care system block economic opportunity for women and ECE teachers

Most providers operate on very thin margins. Licensed child care providers cannot easily increase slots to meet the demand. They must maintain strict teacher-to-child ratios for safety, health and quality requirements. Yet, it is often hard to recruit and retain trained teachers because many providers struggle to offer wages that meet the cost of living. Increasing teacher pay significantly could mean pricing out many families who pay full tuition for care.

Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program offers subsidies to help families afford the care. Initial income eligibility for CAPS subsidies is 50% of the state median family income or $47,619 for a family of four.[4] Because of limited state and federal investment, Georgia prioritizes certain families for assistance, like families with very low income or families who are a part of the foster care system.[5] In 2020, about 18% of income-eligible families received a CAPS subsidy,[6] with most recipients classified as a priority group. Furthermore, Georgia has historically reimbursed providers who accept CAPS subsidies well below the recommended rate.[7] In the fiscal year 2025 budget, state legislators finally included enough resources to increase the reimbursement rate to the 50th percentile of the market rate, the minimum to comply with federal standards.[8]

Barrier: Navigating High Costs and Limited Availability of Quality Child Care

Child care costs for the youngest children are high throughout the state. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers 7% or less of family income affordable for child care. For families with just an infant, the median cost of center-based care is between 8% and 14% of the Georgia county median family income for 140 counties.[9] (See graph.) For families with just a toddler, center-based care is between 8% and 14% of the county median family income in 132 counties. (See appendix.)

The cost to families varies when considering race and ethnicity. In general, child care costs take up a smaller share of white families’ typical income across counties than Black or Brown families’ typical income. Compared to white families, Black and Latino families face higher infant care costs in more counties, taking up more than 15% of their typical income.

Many Georgia families lack licensed child care options nearby, regardless of affordability. Forty-four percent of state residents live in a child care desert, defined as an area with insufficient licensed providers to meet the child care need.[10] In 2020, about 4,500 licensed child care providers offered 368,000 slots to children aged zero to 12.[11] However, the potential demand outpaces the supply. In 2021, there were about 1,115,000 children under 13 whose parents were both employed and in need of child care services during the day.[12]

The end of the pandemic era federal American Rescue Plan Act funding will create more access challenges.[13] The conclusion of the Stabilization Grants, which allowed providers to increase pay to workers and cover other important operating expenses, is a major potential threat. The Century Foundation predicts that the loss of the Stabilization Grants could lead to more than 900 centers in Georgia closing their doors. Such an event would put almost 82,000 children at risk of losing their slots and create a crisis for working families.[14] Even if a whole center does not close, some classrooms could close because of staffing shortages. Federal relief funding that temporarily allowed the state to reimburse providers at their published rate and boosted CAPS subsidies from 50,000 to 70,000 slots will end in September 2024, potentially adding to the instability.

The unwinding of ARPA dollars negatively impacts an already insufficient supply of child care services in Georgia. Ultimately, the full extent of the impact is unclear. Congress recently approved an additional $750 million to support child care programs across the U.S., and Georgia’s legislature approved an additional $9 million in its budget for CAPS. While these federal and state dollars are not nearly enough to compensate for the total loss of federal relief funding, they may help prevent some of the worst consequences.

“Child care should not be so expensive that parents need assistance to afford it and daycare staff should earn adequate wages – more than $7.25/hr. I am certified in CPR and first aid, and I have been taking care of kids for a long time. I loved my job, and I didn’t want to leave it. [American Resue Plan Act] funds helped, but we urgently need more long-term solutions”. – Kayla from Rincon, GA

Quote provided by Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy

Barrier: Women with young children do not work as much as men with young children; lack of affordable child care is a key reason

Child care challenges impact parents across the board, but women bear the brunt. A recent survey of Georgia parents of young children found that 8-in-10 respondents said inadequate child care impacted the way they work or if they could work at all.[15] However, 49% of mothers and 38% of fathers reported they had to turn down a job opportunity, and 44% of mothers and 26% of fathers left the workforce entirely because of child care challenges. Georgia mothers were also more likely to report lower scores than fathers on key socioeconomic factors, like having lower household income and lacking a college degree. A national survey of mothers has similar findings. About 18% of respondents said they changed jobs or left the workforce in the past year and cited a lack of affordable child care as a top reason for the shift.[16] There are long-term economic consequences for women dropping of out the labor force for child care reasons. For each year out of the labor force, a woman could lose three to four times her annual salary over her lifetime.[17]

National data show women with children have lower labor force participation (LFP, meaning working or looking for work) than men with children.[18] Women with much younger children have even lower LFP. In 2021, Georgia women whose youngest child was younger than 6 had about an average 70% LFP rate compared to 78% for women with older children.[19]

As children get older, women’s LFP increases while men’s LFP changes little. This national trend holds for women looking across race and ethnicity. However, Black women’s LFP rate is higher at each age range of the youngest child.[20] Many Black women are the head of household for their families, putting added pressure on them to work. However, this does not mean they do not have child care challenges. Black women, in general, earn less than their white and Asian counterparts, making child care even more unaffordable for them.[21]

The reduced ability of women raising young children to work or get a better-paying job also impacts employers. A 2018 analysis found that Georgia’s child care challenges lead to at least $1.75 billion loss in economic activity annually.[22] A 2023 report by ReadyNation found that the national child care crisis cost the country about $122 billion annually in lost earnings among workers, lost business productivity and lost business revenue. Businesses, in particular, lose about $23 billion annually because of a lack of adequate child care.[23]

Barrier: Lack of affordable child care creates challenges for student parents to gain additional education and training

A post-secondary degree or training can create strong job prospects and lifelong opportunities. Georgetown University predicts that in 2031, about 66% of Georgia jobs will require more than a high school equivalency.[24] However, child care unaffordability is often a barrier to degree completion, thus further entrenching low-wage work for student parents who tend to be women, low-income and people of color.[25] Without child care, student parents may frequently miss class and have little time to study.[26] About 52% of undergraduates with children leave college without a degree compared to 29% of students without children.[27]

Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), which manages the CAPS program, made a change in 2022 to make student parents a priority group for child care subsidies. According to the state’s data, student parents are about one-fifth of CAPS applicants and about 42% of student parents’ applications are approved, which is higher than priority groups generally.[28] While these figures are encouraging, Georgia’s CAPS subsidies do not reach many families who qualify.

Barrier: Child care teachers often have low and inequitable compensation creating, economic insecurity and an inability to plan for the future

Nationally, women still make up 97% of the workers in the early care and education field. Research finds that occupations dominated by women tend to have lower pay than occupations dominated by men with similar skill and education levels.[29] Georgia’s child care teachers have some of the lowest pay in the ECE ecosystem. For most of the past decade, the number of child care workers declined dramatically and remained low. However, the number of children under 13 with all parents working changed modestly with a slight increase of 4% between 2014 and 2022.[30] One explanation could be that workers left the field because of flat and declining wages in the past decade. The industry finally saw significant retention and hiring among these professionals between 2022 and 2023, corresponding with recent wage increases.[31] Child care providers used the federal Stabilization Grants to boost teachers’ hourly wages. Despite the growth, in 2023, the median hourly wage for child care workers was still only $13.35, and the annual median wage was $27,760.

Research consistently finds that teachers of the youngest children get paid less than teachers of older children. Georgia Pre-K lead teachers have typically earned much more than their 0-3 counterparts because the lottery, not tuition, funds their salaries and has a clear pay schedule based on credentials and experience.

However, there is sometimes a gap in pay even for Georgia Pre-K teachers who work in private preschools and public schools. Some public school districts can afford to pay their pre-K teachers more than the salary funded by the lottery, and private preschools see their teachers leave for the local school system. The fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget should address some of this disparity as it will align all Georgia Pre-K teachers’ salaries with those of K-12 teachers.

“There is a [difference between a child care setting and a public school setting]…We kind of get like the crumbs in child care and it’s really, really hard to manage which is why the turnover in the industry as a whole is really, really high…And to just having to constantly have communications with the people here because like I said, they make it very attractive with $5,000 sign-up bonuses in the public school. We can’t compete with any of that.” Lauren from Atlanta, GA

Quote collected by GBPI

There are also racial inequities. A 2016 report on Georgia’s ECE system found that infant, toddler and 3-year-old lead teachers are more likely to be Black, and Georgia Pre-K lead teachers are more likely to be white.[32] Therefore, there is a greater likelihood of Black ECE teachers getting paid less overall because of the classes they teach. Compared to Black teachers, white teachers often have more access to resources and opportunities to attain the bachelor’s degree required for a Georgia Pre-K lead teacher position.[33] Additionally, other research finds that Black women who work with infants and toddlers earn, on average, $0.77 less per hour than other teachers focused on that age group.[34]

Poor compensation forces a worker to focus on meeting their basic needs while limiting their ability to plan for the future. A family solely reliant on the earnings of a child care teacher may be eligible for public benefits that may only cover some of their needs. For example, housing, in particular, is a major expense, yet only about a quarter of families eligible for federal housing assistance receive it.[35] In Georgia, a modest two-bedroom apartment would require hourly earnings of $24.75, well above the median hourly income for child care teachers.[36] With the herculean task of meeting their basic needs with their meager wages, child care teachers are likely to struggle to save for a rainy day or an emergency.

Furthermore, child care providers operate on very narrow margins and struggle to provide conducive working conditions or benefits. For example, small providers may have enough staff to meet state-enforced teacher-child ratios but not enough staff to offer paid or extended, non-caregiving breaks for teachers.[37] Nationally, only 21% of child care workers have employer-sponsored health insurance. Because Georgia has not fully expanded Medicaid, a teacher living in the coverage gap without employer-sponsored health coverage would have to forgo prescriptions and visits to the doctor. Additionally, only about 10% of child care workers have an employer-sponsored retirement plan, which would help teachers invest in their futures.

Historically, low reimbursement rates in Georgia make it difficult for providers to pay their workers what they deserve. The recent funding increase for CAPS in the House and Senate’s budget would increase the state’s reimbursement rate to the 50th percentile of the market rate, which is the federal standard.[38] The higher reimbursement rate still does not cover the full cost of care, and providers may continue to struggle to pay competitive wages.

“It’s been really hard for us, the small centers like mine here in Hopewell. We are doing our best to serve our communities, and ours here is a fairly low-income area. Our kids deserve support, our staff deserves support. Our scores are high for our preschool class, we’re really proud of that and we’re doing our thing! But we don’t have the same infrastructure or support as some of the larger franchises.” Juanterria from Hopewell, GA

Quote provided by Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy

Barrier: Infant and toddler teachers have limited professional development and career pathways within the system

The compensation and working conditions (limited staffing and the need to constantly supervise children without a true break) are some of the most urgent concerns for ECE teachers.[39] Experts say state leaders must address these issues before requiring teachers to obtain higher credentials or deepen competencies beyond the standard. However, to improve the quality of the child care system, it is necessary to provide more professional development opportunities and establish meaningful career pathways that can attract and retain skilled professionals in the field. Research shows more robust education and professional development of ECE teachers help boost the learning environments for very young children.[40]

In Georgia, workers must have a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential to become a teacher in a 0-3 classroom or a Georgia Pre-K assistant teacher. Pre-K lead teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree, like kindergarten teachers. However, it is challenging for a 0-3 teacher with just a CDA to gain the necessary education to be a Pre-K lead teacher. A college degree takes time and money that many teachers do not have. DECAL does offer different forms of tuition assistance, and the HOPE scholarship may be available to a teacher who qualifies. However, those funding streams do not cover living expenses if a teacher must stop working or work less to go to school.

Building Bridges

Bridge: Make a Generational Investment in Georgia’s Child Care System

Policy recommendation: GBPI recommends amending the state constitution to create a $7.5 billion, self-sustaining Child Care Trust Fund from the $11 billion in the undesignated reserve.[41] If managed similarly to Georgia’s Teacher Retirement System (TRS) and Employee Retirement System (ERS), the Child Care Trust Fund could sustain annual payouts of between 5-10% per year to finance and expand access to high-quality, affordable child care options for families statewide. An initial payout of about 6% would equate to $486 million for CAPS in the first year. However, the payout could range between 5% to 10%.

Policy recommendation: Federal lawmakers should return to a previous proposal to create a Birth Through Five Child Care and Early Learning Entitlement, which would serve every eligible child whose family wants to participate. The first three years would include $100 billion of capped funding for all states, including  about $4 billion for Georgia. In the first three years, resources must help increase access to subsidies, build supply, enhance quality and manage administrative costs. In the fourth year, the program will establish a cost-sharing agreement where the federal government will cover 90% of the costs associated with direct services and payment rates. The federal government and states would use the current federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) reimbursement rates for activities associated with supply building and quality.[42]

Bridge: Expand child care supply

Policy recommendation: Georgia should develop a new grant program for current and prospective child care providers to build and expand their capacity and support other start-up costs like achieving state licensure and compliance with state health, safety and Georgia’s Quality Rated system requirements. Priority should go to providers in rural, low-income communities of color and otherwise underserved communities. Priority should also go to providers with the fewest resources to meet the high start-up or expansion costs. Resources would be available for capital improvements and  administrative costs incurred in adhering to state regulations. Georgia legislators must amend the state’s constitution to use state funding for private child care providers’ capital improvements. Other states are making investments to build supply in different ways:

  • Arkansas is spending $25 million to create new child care centers around the state;
  • Iowa invested $37 million for current centers to expand their classrooms; and
  • New York, Rhode Island and Utah created grants to assist providers with start-up costs.[43]

Bridge: Reduce child care costs

Policy recommendation: Georgia should gradually increase the value of CAPS subsidies and expand eligibility limits. The goal should be for families earning up to 250% of the state median family income to pay no more than 7% of their income for all children in full-time care. To ensure equitable access to CAPS subsidies, the state should develop outreach plans for families who have experienced historical discrimination, like Black and Latinx families, or who encounter significant barriers, like student parents with low incomes.

Bridge: Increase support to providers to improve compensation and work environments

Policy recommendation: Payments to providers should move from market-based reimbursements to a process of cost estimation models. Cost modeling is a tool to assess the true cost of quality care.[44] Competitive wages, benefits, and training and educational activities to achieve professional credentials should be considered in the model. The state should develop cost models with providers’ input and make adjustments based on geography, provider type, a child’s age and various operating tiers within the Quality Rated system.[45]

Policy recommendation: With adequate financial support for child care providers, the state should require that providers better compensate teachers and establish better working conditions. Improvements should include but not be limited to:

  • More competitive pay and benefit packages for teachers. Providers should move toward a pay scale system that, at minimum, provides a living wage; pay could adjust based on credentials and experience similar to local public schools;
  • Paid time for lesson planning and professional development;
  • Paid time for mental wellness breaks away from child instruction and supervision;
  • Lower class ratios to allow teachers more one-on-one time with each child;
  • Well-stocked classrooms for effective teacher-student engagement;
  • Ongoing business and administrative support and training for program administrators; and
  • Incorporate teacher and provider feedback into new state health, well-being and safety standards that protect children and child care staff.

Bridge: Enhance educational requirements paired with adequate support and flexibility for current and prospective teachers to achieve them

Policy recommendation: Gradually increase educational and professional development standards for assistant and lead teachers. Any new requirements for education and training must come after improvements in compensation and working conditions have been implemented (see policy recommendations above). Current teachers should be supported as they boost their skills and expertise while working. Enhancements to the professional development and educational requirements should include:

  • Aligning Georgia’s early childhood degree programs with state-defined early care and education professional competency goals;[46]
  • Requiring Child Development Associate credentials for all new assistant teachers;
  • Requiring ECE bachelor’s degrees for all new lead teachers;
  • Requiring Georgia’s ECE bachelor’s degree programs to include an option for a specialized birth-to-five track for students seeking to teach the youngest children;
  • Providing flexibility for current teachers to use experience, expertise and acquired credentials to count towards any new minimum education standards;
  • Providing professional development opportunities and paid time away from the classroom for current teachers to meet new educational standards; and
  • Offering ongoing training and/or coaching for all teachers to stay abreast of the best teaching practices that are culturally responsive and are aligned with the latest understanding of child development.


Child care, elder care and disability care are crucial for our society. However, care work is not seen as a public good and is void of adequate public investment. Instead, our state and country place an undue child care burden on women despite their often needing and wanting to earn a living. In child care, we subsidize the true cost of care on the backs of ECE teachers, who, in Georgia, are disproportionately Black, and earn far less than the work demands.

The more people who can reach their full potential, the more we benefit from the contributions everyone can make. Lawmakers can improve our economy by removing barriers like those created by our ECE system that keep people from engaging in the workforce. State and federal leaders can make critical investments to eliminate child care barriers and advance racial and gender equity and shared prosperity. With major investments like a state child care trust fund and a new federal entitlement, states can increase the supply of child care slots and expand subsidies so that most families do not pay more than 7% of their incomes on care. Additionally, the state can change the provider reimbursement model from a market-based rate to a cost estimation model that estimates the true cost of quality care. High-quality child care will rely on teachers who are well-compensated and well-trained. A generational investment in child care is an investment in children, families, workers and our economy.

This is the second installment of GBPI’s Barriers to Bridges series, which explores some of the structural barriers blocking economic opportunity for many. The next paper in the series will dive deep into how court, jail and probation fines and fees entangle Black and Brown people in the criminal legal system, limiting their economic security and employment prospects.



[1] Goldberg, H., Cairl, T. and Cunningham, T. (2018). Opportunities lost; How child care challenges affect Georgia’s workforce and economy. Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students and the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

[2] Davis Schoch, A., Simons Gerson, C., Halle, T., and Bredeson, M. (2023, August).  Children’s learning and development benefits from high-quality early care and education: A summary of the evidence. OPRE Report #2023-226. Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Horm, D.M., Jeon, S., Clavijo, M.V. and Acton, M. (2022, December). Kindergarten through grade 3 outcomes associated with participation in high-quality early care and education: A RCT follow-up study. Education Science 12(12).

[3] Kanso, D. (2023, October 31). Georgia’s $16 billion question: Will the state equitably invest in its people? Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

[4] Childcare and Parent Services. (2023, October 1). CAPS maximum income limits. Department of Early Care and Learning.

[5] See the complete list of prioritized groups here:

[6] Analysis completed by the Center for Law and Social Policy for GBPI.

[7] Johnson, M. (2016, July 14). Georgia families need state to support new child care plan. Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

[8] Federal COVID relief funding allowed the state to temporarily reimburse providers at a higher percentile. Those resources run our in September 2024.

[9] This analysis looked at the cost of center-based care as most Georgia children in a licensed provider are in center-based care. GBPI analysis of county-level median child care prices are from the Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor. National database of childcare prices 2016-2018. GBPI analysis of county-level median family income are from the Census Bureau, 2022 American Community Survey 5-year estimates, Table B19113,

[10] The Center for American progress defines child care deserts “as [census tracts] that are either lacking any child care options or have so few child care providers that there are more than three children for every licensed child care slot.” Center for American Progress. (2019). Early learning fact sheet 2019: Georgia. Falgout, MK., Malik, R. & Gibbs, H. (2022, June 2). 3 Ways federal investment can address child care deserts in America. Center for American Progress.

[11] Child Care Aware. (2021). State fact sheet: Georgia.

[12] Many child care centers also provide after-school care for school-age children.
Data for 2020 were unavailable. Kids Count Data Center (2023). Georgia. Annie E. Casey Foundation.,2720/char/0.

[13] Congress passed the more than $1 trillion American Rescue Plan or ARPA in March 2021. ARPA was the last of three pandemic-era federal relief funding packages.
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. (2021). CRRSA & ARPA spending plan.

[14] The Century Foundation. Children in Georgia set to lose child care due to child care cliff.

[15] Hart Research. (2024). Meeting the needs of Georgia’s young families. Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students.

[16] (2023). State of motherhood: 2023 survey report.

[17] Madowitz, M., Rowell, A. & Hamm K. (2016, June 21). Calculating the hidden cost of interrupting a career for child care. Center of American Progress.

[18] U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau. Labor force participation rates.

[19] Averaged labor force participation rates of females with own children under 6 only and females with own children under 6 years and 6 to 17 years.
U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Employment status.

[20] U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau. Labor force participation rates.

[21] Smith, E. and Reeves, R.V. (2021, February 24). Black moms facing the toughest childcare crunch: How policy can help. The Brookings Institution.

[22] Goldberg, H., Cairl, T. and Cunningham, T. (2018). Opportunities lost; How child care challenges affect Georgia’s workforce and economy. Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students and the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

[23] ReadyNation, Council for a Strong America. (2023). $122 Billion: The growing, annual cost of the infant-toddler child care crisis.;%20filename=%22$122%20Billion:%20The%20Growing,%20Annual%20Cost%20of%20the%20Infant-Toddler%20Child%20Care%20Crisis%20Factsheet.pdf%22,

[24] Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. (2023). After everything: Projections of jobs, education, and training requirements through 2031.

[25] Marcus, J. (2024, April 18). Universities and colleges that need to fill seats start offering a helping hand to student parents. The Hechinger Report.

[26] Lewis, N. L. and Haynes, D. (2020). National student-parent survey results & recommendations: Uncovering the student-parent experience and its impact on college success. Generation Hope. Wladis, C. (2018, July 24). Many student-parents drop out because they don’t have enough time for their schoolwork, research shows. The Hechinger Report.

[27] Contreras-Mendez, S. and Reichlin Cruse, L. (2021, March). Busy with purpose. Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

[28] Data on the percentage of CAPS families with a student parent was not available at the time of publishing. Department of Early Care and Learning (2023, August 24). Third quarter board meeting presentation.

[29] Vogtman, J. (2017). Undervalued: A brief history of women’s care work and child care policy in the United States. National Women’s Law Center.

[30] Data for children under 13 in 2023 are not yet available.
Kids Count Data Center. (2023, November). Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force in Georgia. Annie E. Casey.,2048,1729,37,871,870,573,869,36,868/any/11472,11473.
Kids Count Data Center. (2024, January). Children ages 6 to 12 with all available parents in the labor force in Georgia. Annie E. Casey.,2048,1729,37,871,870,573,869,36,868/any/11463,11464.

[31] The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines the childcare workers category as “Attend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and childcare institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play. Excludes “Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education” (25-2011) and ‘Teaching Assistants, Preschool, Elementary, Middle, and Secondary School, Except Special Education’”. See definition here:

This category does not include childcare administrators or preschool teachers like Georgia’s Pre-K teachers. Those groups of ECE workers are listed under separate categories.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023, May). May 2023 occupational employment and wage statistics: Georgia.

[32] Georgia State University Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Bright from the Start, Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. (June 2016). Economic impact of the early care and education industry in Georgia. Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

[33] Early Educator Investment Collaborative. (2023, September). Advancing ECE workforce compensation and equity: Key conditions for a national lead teacher certification.

[34] Lloyd, C. M., Carlson, J., Hannah Barnett, H., Shaw, S., and Logan, D. (2021, September). Mary Pauper: A historical exploration of early care and education compensation, policy, and solutions. Child Trends and Early Educator Investment Collaborative.

[35] Fischer, W., Acosta, S. and Gartland, E. (2021, May 13). More housing vouchers: Most important step to help more people afford stable homes. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

[36] Aurand, A., Pish, M., Rafi, I. and Yentel, D. (2023). Out of reach: High cost of housing. National Low Income Housing Coalition.

[37] Georgia’s licensed child care centers must maintain the following staff-to-child ratios:

Infants/ child under 18 months who are not walking – 1:6 ratio, maximum group size: 12;

One-year-olds who are walking – 1:8 ratio, maximum group size 16;

Two-year-olds – 1:10, maximum group size 20

Three-year-olds – 1:15, maximum group size 30

From Georgia Department of Early Care and Leaning (2023, October). Rules and regulations for child care learning centers
See Georgia’s Rules and Regulations for other child care provider here:

[38] Care Solutions, Inc. (2022, January). Georgia child care market rate survey. Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

[39] Ibid. Miller, C.C. (2017, April 7). Do preschool teachers really need to be college graduates? The New York Times.

[40] Early Educator Investment Collaborative. (2023, September). Advancing ECE workforce compensation and equity: Key conditions for a national lead teacher certification.

[41] Kanso, D. (2023, October 31). Georgia’s $16 billion question: Will the state equitably invest in its people? Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

[42] Hardy, A. and Schmit, S. (2021, November 4). Build Back Better Act’s child care provisions: State-by-state estimates. CLASP.

[43] Gibbs, H. (2022, August 23). Increasing America’s child care supply. Center for Amercia Progress.

[44] Aigner-Treworgy, S., Osborn, C., Smith, L. (2022, November 30). Using cost modeling to design new solutions for child care. Bipartisan Policy Center.
Alliance for Early Success. (December 1, 2023). Child care policy roadmap 2023: Recent state policy actions toward a more equitable and ambitious child care system.

[45] Hardy, A. and Schmit, S. (2021, November 23). Understanding child care and pre-kindergarten provisions in the Build Back Better Act. CLASP.

[46] GA Training Approval for Early Care and Learning. (2007, November). The Georgia early care and education professional development competencies. Department of Early Care and Learning.

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