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Southwest Virginia Childcare Landscape Report

April 15, 2024

Southwest Virginia Childcare Landscape Report

A national childcare crisis remains as access to childcare keeps families
financially constrained and parents out of the workforce. Efforts at the state and regional
level have been made to develop solutions to these same challenges here in Southwest
Virginia (SWVA).

In the last year, the region has seen:

  • cross-sector collaboration to address child care deserts.
  • an increase in slots to provide low-income families with high-quality care at no cost.
  • collaboration across child care programs to coordinate enrollment for families.
  • efforts to train and recruit individuals to mitigate the provider staffing shortage.

Still, there is work to be done to expand access to affordable child care for all families,
regardless of income and age of child. Nationally, parents are facing financial pressure to
find quality, affordable, and reliable child care. In SWVA, 68% of children ages 0-4 have
all available parents in the workforce. Almost half of surveyed businesses in the region
reported challenges hiring and retaining staff due to a lack of childcare access. Beyond
economic gains, consistent access to high-quality child care is key to children’s academic
success: students with preschool experience are more likely to enter kindergarten ready
to learn.

The following report outlines the region’s childcare landscape at the beginning of 2024,
placing these national issues within the context of our rural communities here in SWVA.

Download report.pdf

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