Washington County Childcare Analysis

At a Glance



Washington County Department of Health and Human Services

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ECOnorthwest helped Washington County, Oregon, understand the workforce and infrastructure needs related to an expansion of early childhood care and education (ECE) for children ages 0 to 5 in the county. Four analyses provided insights and findings needed to prepare for an expansion: (1) a population forecast and demographic analysis, (2) a current capacity analysis (including location) and childcare provider survey, (3) a gap analysis and workforce development case studies, and (4) a zoning, process, and case study cost analysis. The capacity analysis included a survey of Washington County childcare providers to provide additional local context and to better understand barriers to and interest in facility expansion. The gap analysis highlighted the need for additional ECE workforce and infrastructure to meet future need under a specified system expansion, and the case studies described efforts in other parts of the state to train, develop, and support the ECE workforce. The zoning analysis included insights on commercial space availability, development costs, and processes associated with residential and commercial childcare facility development. ECOnorthwest concluded that the current number and type of childcare slots in Washington County do not meet the needs of families in the county, that the available care is too expensive for many households, and that jurisdictions in the county should seek to reduce regulatory barriers by updating or modifying their zoning allowances and procedures. Meeting ambitious childcare capacity expansion goals would require a large increase in the childcare workforce as well as more-comprehensive support of existing providers.

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Washington County Childcare Analysis