Children under the age of five constitute around 7% of the total U.S. population, and represent a segment of the population that is totally dependent on others for day-to-day activities. A significant proportion of this population spends time in some form of day care arrangement while their parents are away from home. Accounting for those children during emergencies is of high priority, which requires a broad understanding of the locations of such day care centers. As concentrations of at risk population, the spatial location of day care centers is critical for any type of emergency preparedness and response (EPR). However, until recently, the U.S. emergency preparedness and response community did not have access to a comprehensive spatial database of day care centers at the national scale. This paper describes an approach for the development of the first comprehensive spatial database of day care center locations throughout the U.S. utilizing a variety of data harvesting techniques to integrate information from widely disparate data sources followed by geolocating for spatial precision. In the context of disaster management, such spatially refined demographic databases hold tremendous potential for improving high-resolution population distribution and dynamics models and databases.
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