Great Learning

Estimating the Supply of and Demand for Child Care in Philadelphia

With the goal of providing better data with which to inform funders, practitioners and advocates for child care in Philadelphia, The Reinvestment Fund’s Policy Solutions (TRF) group has undertaken an analysis designed to estimate the supply of and demand for child care in the city of Philadelphia. We present the results of this work in two ways:

  • A report offering an overview of the project and a set of observations and findings that the Foundation and other stakeholders can use in their deliberations around a variety of childcare policy matters in Philadelphia (e.g., funding, improving access to high quality child care).
  • An online database and mapping tool, based on TRF’s PolicyMap, that will allow users to view, map, and generate custom reports on the supply of, demand for, and shortage in the supply of child care (


Using a variety of data sources, each with some inadequacy or inconsistency, we were able to create an estimate of the supply of and demand for child care in Philadelphia. With the supply and demand estimated, we then estimated the relative and absolute shortage in total, certified, and high quality1 supply. The project’s Advisory Group vetted all of the data, statistical and spatial methods and deemed the results an accurate portrait of child care in Philadelphia.2 This project was funded by the William Penn Foundation (Foundation).

Published: October 2013
Download Report