Initial findings from an analysis from First 5 Orange County, the local Children & Families Commission, show that before COVID-19 the county suffered from a profound shortfall in affordable, licensed child care.

A particular gap was found in the kind of care that could help working parents with young children, from infancy to 2 years old.

For every licensed child care slot in Orange County, there are 21 infants and toddlers. Even if only one-third of those young children needed out-of-home child care (an assumption based on the idea that two-thirds of the children have a parent or other caregiver at home) just 14% of the kids would have access to it, according to the First 5 analysis.