Every family who needs child care should have access to this essential service. But quality child care for infants and toddlers in New Jersey can be hard to find. Forty percent of New Jersey communities are ‘child care deserts’ where there isn’t enough high-quality infant and toddler child care to meet families’ needs. And even when finding quality care isn’t a problem, cost frequently is. In a recent survey, two out of every five parents said that finding quality care within their budget had become more difficult.
Unlike many developed nations, the U.S. does not fund child care as a public good. Instead, families are forced to grapple with the high cost of care as providers struggle to operate on razor-thin margins. We need child care for every family that needs it, flexible options to meet their needs, and financial support to reduce costs for families. When quality child care is available and affordable for every New Jersey infant and toddler, our communities and economy will thrive.