Let’s talk about childcare: Do we live in a childcare desert?

Let’s talk about childcare: Do we live in a childcare desert?




Inadequate childcare is a critical problem and creates a substantial burden for working families.

The City of Beaverton, along with all of Washington County, is in a childcare desert, meaning that fewer than 1 out of every 3 children ages 0-5 could find a spot within a childcare facility.

The Beaverton City Council and I are absolutely not okay with that. We asked staff to come up with creative ways to address this critical need in our community. Our Ec Dev team hustled and in March launched an exciting new incentive program.

Our goal is to address the childcare crisis by creating new childcare capacity within Beaverton for ages zero through five within center-based and home-based childcare facilities. To meet that goal, the Childcare Startup and Expansion Program will include three components that have been hugely successful in other city programs:

  1. business outreach to a diverse community of providers.
  2. grants to incentivize the business and foster a cooperative effort between the city and the providers.
  3. and technical assistance focused on the regulatory and business needs of a new or expanding center.

I believe childcare is infrastructure. And I’m so excited for this program that’s going to deliver more childcare capacity which will have a huge ripple effect throughout Beaverton’s economy.


Lacey Beaty was elected Mayor of Beaverton in 2020. Prior to serving as Mayor, she served for six years on the Beaverton City Council.