This new approach to analyzing and visualizing local child care supply was developed in conjunction with a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota. For a detailed explanation of the methodologies employed to create the data shown on this map, see this methodological memo.
It is important to note that the dots on these maps represent the likely locations of families with at least one child under the age of 5. These likely locations are based on U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Child care providers are not shown on this map, but their locations and capacities were used to calculate the supply of nearby child care for each likely family location. This supply of child care was then adjusted to account for the estimated population of nearby families with young children—in other words, the nearby demand for child care.
This demand-adjusted supply is represented by the color of the dots shown on the map. Each dot represents 10 families with a child under the age of 5. These values are scaled to each state, since differences in state-level child care policies have a large impact on licensed child care supply. The comparison data on the right-hand side of the map—which show census tract-level estimates from the 2014–2018 American Community Survey—are scaled to the country as a whole because these are population-level estimates that are unrelated to state-level policies.