PROJECTUnderstanding Supply-Building and Sustainability Efforts of the Child Care and Early Education (CCEE) Market

An adequate supply of quality child care and early education (CCEE) is key to the Child Care and Development Fund’s (CCDF’s) ability to support family economic well-being and children’s healthy development and school success. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the supply of CCEE and intensified the efforts of states, territories, and tribes to build and sustain the CCEE market. However, little is known about the range—or effectiveness—of various CCEE supply-building and sustainability strategies. 

In September 2021, the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) awarded a five-year contract to the Urban Institute to learn more about CCEE supply-building and sustainability efforts that states, territories, and tribes are undertaking. Using an equity lens, the project aims to (1) explore the CCEE supply-building and sustainability efforts of states, territories, and tribes, with a focus on efforts aimed at populations that may be particularly underserved and efforts to support or sustain the supply of high-quality CCEE; and (2) begin identifying supply-building and sustainability efforts ready for evaluation. To accomplish this, the research team will undertake the following activities:

  • conduct an environmental scan to understand recent and ongoing efforts to build CCEE supply and sustain the existing CCEE market;
  • carry out in-depth case studies to identify promising approaches and, in turn, which efforts of state, territory, and tribal CCDF Lead Agencies are ready for evaluation;
  • analyze secondary data to shed light on CCEE supply and demand across different geographic areas and for different priority populations and strategies to build or sustain supply;
  • develop geomaps of supply and demand, and related tools and resources, to help states, territories, and tribes visualize contextual information and inform decisionmaking;
  • design options for a potential future evaluation of the effectiveness of supply-building and sustainability efforts in meeting the needs of families with children from birth through age 12; 
  • engage with key contributors at ACF and in communities across the country to ensure the work is relevant and rigorous; and
  • develop and use a strong dissemination strategy to get relevant materials into the hands of a range of stakeholders.

The information resulting from this project will help inform and strengthen future efforts to build and sustain the supply of CCEE for children from birth through age 12. This project will pay particular attention to children in underserved areas, infants and toddlers, children with disabilities, children who receive care during nontraditional hours, and children living in areas with concentrated poverty and unemployment.

Project Contacts

Principal investigator: Gina Adams (
Project director: Julia Isaacs (
Federal project officers: Amanda Coleman ( and Bonnie Mackintosh (
Project specialist: Dianna Tran (

Policy Centers Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population