Preschool Supply and Demand in the State of California

Unlike the K-12 school system, the preschool system does not maintain unique child identifiers, making it difficult to impossible to track children’s enrollment in child care. Furthermore, until recently, no centralized repository of information was available on the supply of child care across program settings.

As part of AIR’s Preschool Research and Technical Assistance Project for the Packard Foundation, staff have conducted an assessment of preschool supply and demand in the state of California. AIR’s needs assessment uses existing public data sources to estimate, by county and zip code, the population of preschool children and the number enrolled in publicly contracted and privately operated programs.

AIR’s assessment provides a centralized source of information on preschool enrollment across program settings that providers, policymakers, and stakeholders can use to inform planning and policy analysis.