Many of Orange County’s working families face extraordinary difficulties securing childcare, particularly for infants and toddlers, as few licensed spots exist and waiting lists for full-day care options grow longer by the day.

Meanwhile, parents who do manage to find full-time licensed care pay an average of about $15,650 annually for one child and more than $26,000 for two — the latter of which constitutes approximately 26% of their average household income.

Those and other concerning statistics were recently uncovered in an analysis directed by First 5 Orange County’s Children and Families Commission, which found massive shortages in childcare options, especially for children under age 2, and a growing need among parents for affordable care.