Investing in the Future of Child Care

children playing in daycare

Access to affordable child care is crucial to parents’ ability to participate in the workforce. However, in many places—especially lower-income communities and communities of color—affordable child care isn’t available to meet this need. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the business model for child care operators was already under financial strain, which makes the need for swift, bold actions to support these essential businesses even more urgent.

Through the Investing in the Future of Child Care initiative the SF Fed and the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) are taking a deep dive into the challenges facing the child care market as well as the investments and partnerships needed to support child care providers.

Communities have the chance to rebuild the child care system with greater access for lower-income families and people of color by addressing known challenges with its operating model. This in turn strengthens our workforce and our broader economy. Success involves new investments to support a sustainable operating model, and it will require partners from across sectors working together.

In fall 2020, we launched Investing in the Future of Child Care with a series of webinars designed to advance understanding and action in the field. Recordings of those sessions may be found below. In the months ahead, we will be working with communities across the Twelfth Federal Reserve District to support stakeholders who are committed to boosting the capacity of the child care system and to identifying solutions that benefit both children and working parents.


Supporting Small Business Providers

Supporting the Workforce with Early Care and Education Services

Child Care as a Community Investment

Integrating Child Care into Housing and Other Community Facilities


Child Care in the Twelfth Federal Reserve District: Snapshots by State. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. February 17, 2021.

“Child Care, COVID-19, and our Economic Future.” Bina Shrimali. Community Development Research Brief. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. September 29, 2020.

“Investing in the Future of Child Care: Building Workforce and Economic Resiliency.” Laurel Gourd. Community Development Blog. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. September 11, 2020.

“Briefing on Childcare Funding and Policy Considerations in Response to COVID-19”. Federal Reserve System. August 27, 2020.

“Who Will Mind the Children? The Impact of COVID-19 on the Childcare Market”, a Connecting Communities webinar from the Federal Reserve System held August 6, 2020.

Child Care & Coronavirus: Providers Speak Out. Low Income Investment Fund

Strong Foundations: The Economic Futures of Kids and Communities. Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference. March 23 – 24, 2017. Washington, D.C.