Addressing the Child Care Crisis in Los Angeles County: A New Toolkit for Child Care Providers

Public Counsel has partnered with LA County’s Office for the Advancement of Early Care and Education (OAECE) to create this important new resource.

Los Angeles County faces a critical need for child care, especially for infants and toddlers. Access to reliable child care is a vital part of building healthy and thriving communities. It gives parents and guardians the ability to work and fulfill their responsibilities, secure in the knowledge that their children are safe and well-cared for.

However, child care is more than just supervision—it’s a foundational step in preparing children for their educational journeys ahead. Quality child care has been shown to enhance school readiness, equipping children with better math and reading skills and fostering essential social and communication abilities.

However, despite these immense benefits, Los Angeles County is experiencing a troubling decline in available child care facilities. Over the past decade, one in five family child care providers has closed doors, and the child care workforce has shrunk by 10 percent post-pandemic. This shortage is driven by a variety of challenges, including rising costs, low wages, inadequate facilities, and increased operational risks.

In the midst of this crisis, we’re excited to share that Public Counsel has partnered with LA County’s Office for the Advancement of Early Care and Education (OAECE) to launch an important new resource: Child Care for All: Information for Child Care Providers on Expanding Infant and Toddler Care in Los Angeles County (Infant and Toddler Expansion Toolkit).

This toolkit is part of OAECE’s Early Care and Education—Birth Through Three (ECE-BT3) strategy and provides practical guidance to help family child care homes and community-based centers expand their services to more infants and toddlers. Here are the seven key areas it covers:

  • Licensing: Understanding and navigating the legal requirements.
  • Ratios: Maintaining appropriate caregiver-to-child ratios.
  • Staff Qualifications: Ensuring caregivers are adequately trained and qualified.
  • Equipment: Outfitting facilities with suitable equipment for infants and toddlers.
  • Changes to Physical Space: Modifying spaces to accommodate younger children safely.
  • Financial Business Model: Developing a sustainable financial model.
  • Outreach to Families: Effectively communicating with and engaging the community.

The toolkit is available in English and will soon be offered in Armenian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish via the OAECE website. Additionally, a web-based training that addresses these seven considerations is available in both English (here) and Spanish (here). 

For more information on the County of LA’s “Early Care and Education—Birth Through Three Initiative,” including its 1) Facility Development Fee Waiver program, 2) upcoming trainings for infant and toddler program expansion, and 3) free professional development opportunities, please visit

This toolkit is a companion to the other two toolkits we did last year:

Together, we can work towards a future where every family in Los Angeles County has access to the child care they need. Please share this toolkit widely within your early childhood education networks.

For more info about Public Counsel’s support to in-home day care providers, click here.

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