Report | November 11, 2022

Home-Based Child Care is Key to Keeping the Ohio Workforce Strong

Policy solutions must support the child care system used by many families

The vast majority of child care in the United States is home-based. Home-based child care (HBCC) accounts for 97 percent of all child care settings and serves almost half of the children ages birth to five who are in care. HBCC is particularly important for infants and toddlers, children from families with low incomes, and those living in rural areas. HBCC is an essential support for the Ohio workforce, with many parents relying on this care so that they can go to work and support their families.

Home-based child care availability, in addition to centers, is critical for companies of any size to retain a talented and engaged workforce, especially when on-site work is required.

Joe Sheetz, CEO, Sheetz, Inc.

HBCC includes several types. These types differ in several respects, including as to whether the provider is paid, listed on a registry, and has a prior relationship with the children in care. Parents choose HBCC for various reasons, including availability, affordability, trust, and flexibility to accommodate non-traditional work schedules.

Paid HBCC generates $283 million in revenue in Ohio annually, as well as spillover economic activity in other sectors. However, HBCC also faces several challenges, and the number of family child care providers in Ohio has plummeted 25.5 percent in the past decade, contributing to the shortage of child care. The pandemic posed an additional, significant threat to HBCC and the entire child care industry.

Given HBCC’s vital role in supporting the workforce and our economy, it is critical that policymakers develop and enhance programmatic supports for home-based child care.

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