Utah ranks as one of the worst states for childcare access

Local News

WASHINGTON (ABC4 News) – If your New Year’s resolution is to get a new job or even explore a new career.

The state or even city where you live could limit those options, especially if you’re a mother or single parent.

That’s because of the lack of enough childcare in the United States and Utah is among one of the worst states.

The Center for American Progress conducted a study and found that more than 50 percent of Americans live in childcare deserts.

 “The number of providers isn’t sufficient to meet even a third of the number of children in those areas,” said Rasheed Malik, with the Center for American Progress.

The study found Utah, Nevada, and Hawaii are the three states with the worst access in the U.S. 

Utah is unique because the state’s families tend to have more children.

The study also found that California and Washington rank among the worst 10 states.

Rural areas also struggle with childcare options, while suburban areas have the most availability.

 “Neighborhoods with higher concentrations of Hispanic or Latino populations are more likely to be childcare deserts,” said Malik.

Nearly 60 percent of Hispanic families live in childcare deserts.

Childcare deserts impact kids’ readiness for school and the overall economy because the lack of childcare means some mothers can’t go to work or can’t work in the field of their choice.

 “It’s a big component in the gender employment and gender wage gap,” said Malik.

The solution, according to the Center for American Progress, is for more public and private investment in the childcare sector because right now the average daycare worker earns less than a parking lot attendant.

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Glen Mills

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...