From October 6-14, 2022, the Sarah Cohen-Doherty Center for Children at the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, in partnership with the Children’s Institute, conducted a statewide survey of Oregonians’ values about childcare in Oregon. A description of the methodology used for the research is provided below.
The question numbers in this document correspond with the survey questionnaire (Q19-35). Due to rounding, the percentages reported below may not add to 100% or compare exactly to the percentages for the same question in the annotated questionnaire or tabs. Sampling methods can be found below in “Methodology” section.
OVBC surveys currently use aggregated data to analyze the opinions of BIPOC residents in comparison to the opinions of residents who identify as white and not another race. BIPOC residents are not a monolith; the grouping represents a wide diversity of races and ethnicities. The findings included in this memo should not be construed such that all people of color are believed to share the same opinions. Disaggregated race data will be provided when sample sizes permit reliability.
Oregon Values and Beliefs Center: The research was completed as a community service by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center in partnership with the Children’s Institute. OVBC is an independent and non-partisan organization and an Oregon charitable nonprofit corporation.
Key Findings: Childcare
- A solid half of Oregon employers say the challenges employees face getting access to childcare impacts their ability to hire and/or retain employees.
- Of the respondents who have children under the age of 6 in their home, four in six spend time on childcare transportation each day (65%). Among those who spend time transporting their children to and from childcare each day, the average time spent is 27 minutes.
- Six in ten respondents with children under 6 years of age spend money on providing childcare for their children (59%), with the average among those who do pay for childcare spending an average of 20% of their monthly income.
- There is strong support among those with children younger than 6 for innovative childcare options.
- A representative sample of Oregonians strongly support an increase in State funding for childcare options and infrastructure, regardless of demographic distinction. This a bipartisan issue.
- Six in ten Oregonians say State and Federal government should step up to address the childcare crisis.
Impacts on Ability to Hire and Retain Employees
Among Oregonians who are employers, a majority say that access to childcare impacts their ability to hire and/or retain employees (54%) (Q30).
Transporting Children To and From Child Care
Of the respondents who have children under the age of 6 in their home, four in six spend time on childcare transportation each day (65%). Among those who do spend time transporting their children to and from childcare each day, the average time spent is 27 minutes (Q21).
- For those who rent their home, that average time increases to 33 minutes a day.
- Among BIPOC caregivers, 83% spend time each day transporting their children to and from daycare, with an average of 36 minutes per day.
“In the past, I struggled with working far from my home and having to get back in time for pickup or to find a place that could take kids early enough. Childcare hours should be longer.”Woman, age 45-54, Douglas County, White
Percent of Income Spent on Childcare
Six in ten respondents with children under 6 years of age spend money on providing childcare for their children (59%), with those who do pay for childcare spending an average of 20% of their monthly income (Q22).
- Among those who make less than $50,000 a year, the average portion of their income spent on childcare increases to 25%.
- Among BIPOC caregivers, 71% spend money on childcare, with an average of 24% of their monthly income spent on this.
“People are not paid a livable wage and factoring in the cost of childcare keeps the workforce stuck in poverty.”Woman, age 45-54, Lane County, White
“The cost of childcare is a huge barrier for all families but particularly lower income families. The cost of care often outpaces the income generated by the employed person. This ties the lower income parent, generally the woman, to the home and inhibits professional development that would provide gateways to higher income jobs.”Woman, age 45-54, Multnomah County, White
Preferred Child Care Solutions
A strong majority of Oregonian respondents with children under 6 would like to explore innovative solutions to the childcare deficit.
“The options available for child care are abysmal and are not distributed evenly. It’s difficult to find the right fit that is both quality and affordable.”Man, age 45-54, Multnomah County, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
“I believe that people could have communal childcare where they take turns caring for the children. I think that employers could and should let parents of kids who need childcare have one day a week off to participate in this, and larger employers could offer their own childcare centers where they could let parents do that. Childcare needn’t be expensive!”Woman, age 65-74, Washington County, Native American, American Indian, or Alaska Native
Oregonians Want the State to Step Up
There is extremely strong support among all Oregonians, regardless of whether they have children, that it is important for the State to increase funding to support childcare needs.
Eight in ten Oregonians believe kids in Oregon who face more disadvantages than the average student, think early learning would help reduce gaps in academic success.
“Yes, very important to the infrastructure, no child left behind.”Man, age 45-54, Multnomah County, Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino/x
“The expense and logistical challenge of childcare is a major barrier to employment, and also negatively impacts the productivity of future workers who don’t receive high quality preschool. I would much rather be taxed for something that increases the tax base and ultimately lightens my load than taxed for social transfers with no impact on productivity. Investing in human capital is the same as investing in physical capital, and that makes childcare infrastructure rather than a social transfer.”Man, age 45-54, Washington County, Asian and White
“Diversity and sustainability of infrastructure seems most important, including subsidies for child care costs and workforce rather than one size fits all child care centers that only serve certain neighborhoods or rigid schedules because it may not allow the flexibility for the kinds of supports needed to address equity.”Woman, age 45-54, Multnomah County, Hispanic/Latina/x
Six in ten Oregonians say State and Federal government should step up to address the childcare crisis.
A strong majority of Oregonians believe early learning supports academic success among students facing more disadvantages than the average student.
Representative sample: The online survey consisted of 1,926 Oregon residents ages 18+ and took approximately 15 minutes to complete. Respondents were contacted by using professionally maintained online panels. In gathering responses, a variety of quality control measures were employed, including questionnaire pre-testing, validation, and real-time monitoring of responses. To ensure a representative sample, demographic quotas were set, and data weighted by area of the state, gender, age, and education.
Subsample: Survey responses of those with children under the age of six (n = 224) were extracted from the data on questions relating to their experiences with childcare.
Statement of Limitations: Based on a 95% confidence interval, this survey’s margin of error for the full representative sample is ±2.23%. Due to rounding or multiple answer questions, response percentages may not add up to 100%.