IECAM “Slot Gap” Data Cited to Show Child Care Shortage

Mother wearing mask holding baby while working at a computer

The Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map (IECAM) was recently featured in a news article and on the University of Illinois’ College of Education website as a source for early childhood program “slot gap” data. “Slot gap” data shows the difference between program slots available and the number of children who may need those slots. It is critical to identifying the need to expand access in a given community.

An Effingham Daily News article cited data from the IECAM database showing that 45% of young children in Effingham County may not have access to early childhood education and care programs, “while for the most vulnerable children who come from the area’s poorest families, the figure increases to 61%.”

Illinois Action for Children, a nonprofit aimed at addressing the needs of children around the state, is working with the Governor’s Office for Early Childhood Development in a pilot program to help communities such as Effingham create collaboratives to address these “slot gaps.” The Effingham collaborative is one of five groups participating in the program.

IECAM is pleased its data resources are being used to identify areas of need as part of this effort to improve the lives of young children and their families in the state.

More information about IECAM can be found it this media kit.

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