EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Study shows childcare demand is high in Utah

Nov 3, 2023, 9:00 PM

Childcare needs Utah...

The Utah Women & Leadership Project released new research looking at the need for childcare solutions in Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Women & Leadership Project has released new research into how the status of childcare in Utah has changed since 2018 when they first issued the report and what troubles lie ahead.

In the report, the UWLP notes that in recent years, continued market failures and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have “exacerbated the financial challenges of childcare business owners and their employees.” The report also concluded the pandemic increased the number of obstacles parents face trying to work outside the home. 

Dr. Robyn C. Blackburn, Research Fellow for the Utah Women & Leadership Project, spoke to KSL at Night about the report.

Childcare demand is high

According to Robyn, Utah ranks high compared to other states when it comes to demand for childcare.

“64.1% of families in Utah have all available parents working, which means 64% of families in Utah need childcare.”

Utah has the highest percentage of children compared to any state in the nation, with 30% of Utah’s population falling under that category. 

Robyn said federal funding has helped make childcare affordable and accessible for many Utahns. However, Utahns could face a crisis in 2024 when funding that came from the pandemic crisis comes to an end. 

According to the report, Utah ranked number 48 on the Child Care Index and 50 in the Work and Family category. Robyn explained that the wage gap between men and women contributes to the ranking. 

“A part of that is that we have a large wage gap here in Utah, so comparing men’s medium wages to women’s medium wages, we have a large wage gap that contributes to being 50 in those categories,” she said. 

Another issue in Utah is childcare deserts.

“These are places all over the nation that don’t have access to adequate childcare. Way more kids needing childcare than actually are able to get it,” Robyn said.

What can be done?

This problem affects more than just families with children. The report mentions an estimated $1.4 billion is lost annually from Utah’s economy due to childcare inadequacies. 

“We’re losing out on having an even better economy and having even better rankings and all these things because we haven’t addressed the needs in our childcare sector.” Robyn later continued, “If we have these [problems) in other areas, we would be addressing them with like, such rigor.”

Robyn said Utah’s legislation could be a solution to this problem. In the 2023 Legislative session, multiple childcare bills failed to pass.

“We need all of our legislation to realize that this impacts women, it impacts families, and it impacts our state economy. And when all of our legislators recognize that, when they look at those women who are marching and saying, ‘We want child care for our state.'”

Related stories:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

byu mark pope shown...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

BYU students react to Mark Pope’s move to Kentucky

BYU men's basketball head coach Mark Pope will leave for Kentucky, but some students think the team will be ok.

3 hours ago

Unique theater design...

Michael Camit

New, unique theater thriving in historic University of Utah building

Meldrum Theatre is a new, unique theater at the University of Utah. The design creates an engaging audience experience.

7 hours ago

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on student loan debt at Madison College on April 8 in Madison,...

Katie Lobosco, CNN

Biden to forgive $7.4 billion more in student loan debt for 277,000 borrowers

President Joe Biden announced another round of student loan forgiveness helping around 277,000 borrowers.

10 hours ago

BYU coach Mark Pope...

Mitch Harper, KSL SPORTS

Kentucky Reportedly Targeting BYU’s Mark Pope As Next Head Coach

BYU basketball head coach Mark Pope is leaving his position to reportedly take the head coach job at Kentucky.

12 hours ago

A rendering showing what the new Golden Spike State Monument will look like when it's completed. Go...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Utah gets $1.5M donation as it unveils more plans for new golden spike monument

A 43-foot replica of the famous golden spike will be at the site of a brand-new state monument in Brigham City.

12 hours ago

Roy High School in Roy is pictured on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020....

Derrick Jones

Roy High School teen arrested after bringing gun to school

A potentially dangerous situation at Roy High School, where officials were tipped off to a student who'd brought a handgun to school.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Live Nation Concerts

Artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Study shows childcare demand is high in Utah