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How childcare deserts impact working families

Photo by Airman 1st Class Aubrey Robinson
via U.S. Air Force

On this edition of Your Call, we discuss childcare deserts. Working parents in the US often have a hard time finding childcare. What does that mean for careers and children's development?

According to the Center for American Progress, parents of infants and toddlers pay an average of $18,000 a year for childcare. The cost alone can be daunting, but what if you can’t find a provider at all? In some ZIP codes, children younger than five outnumber daycare spots three to one. How pervasive are childcare deserts and what are policy solutions?


Malia Ramler, senior administrator at First 5 Alameda County

Frankie Izzo, family advocate with the Oakland Head Start program, former elementary school teacher

Clarissa Doutherd, executive director of Parent Voices Oakland

Web Resources:

US News: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The State of Preschool in the U.S.

Slate: Welcome to Life in America’s Child Care Deserts

Washington Post: The surprising number of parents scaling back at work to care for kids

Center for American Progress: Mapping America’s Child Care Deserts

The Guardian: How America's 'childcare deserts' are driving women out of the workforce


Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.