Advertisement

Child & Youth Care Forum

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 75–86 | Cite as

Space to Learn and Grow: Assessing the Capacity of a Regional Early Care and Education System

  • Robert L. Fischer
  • Lisa Nelson
  • Kristen Mikelbank
  • Claudia Coulton
Original Paper

Abstract

As communities across the United States work to meet the early care and education needs of young children, more research is needed to inform decision making at many levels. One key dimension of this is having clarity about the relative availability of care in light of demographic trends and geographic dispersion. The present study demonstrates a method to examine the capacity of early care programs to serve the children in a large urban county. The study takes stock of the existing early care system by comparing where the child care slots are and where the demand is—all at the neighborhood level. The existing capacity to meet the needs of 3–5 year olds could provide slots for approximately 70% of all children, though there are spatial imbalances in the location of supply and demand. The study illustrates the effective use of administrative and Census-based data to inform policy planning for children and identifies several key implications for this type of effort.

Keywords

Early care System capacity Research Market 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Billie Osborne-Fears, Executive Director of Starting Point and her staff for their input to this study. In addition, staff from Invest in Children, particularly Robert Staib and Nakiaa Robinson, provided useful critique and comment on the work. Funding for this research was provided by the Cuyahoga Board of County Commissioners through Invest in Children/Office of Early Childhood.

References

  1. Barnett, W. S., & Yarosz, D. J. (2004). Who goes to preschool and why does it matter? Preschool Policy Matters, 8. New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research.Google Scholar
  2. Blau, D. M., & Mocan, H. N. (2002). The supply of quality in child care centers. Review of Economics and Statistics, 84(3), 483–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brandon, R. N., & Scarpa, J. P. (2006). Supply, demand, and accountability: Effective strategies to enhance the quality of early learning experiences through workforce improvement. Seattle, WA: Human Services Policy Center, Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington. May.Google Scholar
  4. Brooks-Gunn, J. (2003). Do you believe in magic? What can we expect from early childhood intervention programs? SRCD Social Policy Report, 17, 3–14.Google Scholar
  5. Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Inc. (2001). Child care: The family issue in New York City. New York: Author.Google Scholar
  6. Cochi Ficano, C. K. (2006). Child-care market mechanisms: Does policy affect the quantity of care? Social Service Review, 80, 453–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cuthbertson, B. B., Burr, E., Fuller, B., & Hirshberg, D. (2000). Los Angeles County child care asessment. Berkeley, CA: Policy Analysis for California Education.Google Scholar
  8. Fischer, R., Nelson, L., Mikelbank, K., & Coulton, C. (2006). Cuyahoga County early care and education capacity report. Cleveland, OH: Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University. October.Google Scholar
  9. Gilliam, W. S., & Zigler, E. F. (2000). A critical meta-analysis of all evaluations of state-funded preschool from 1977 to 1998: Implications for policy, service delivery and program evaluation. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 15(4), 441–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gormley, W. T., Gayer, T., Phillips, D., & Dawson, B. (2005). The effects of universal pre-k on cognitive development. Developmental Psychology, 41(6), 872–884.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Heckman, J., & Masterov, D. V. (2004). The productivity argument for investing in young children. Working paper. New York: Committee for Economic Development.Google Scholar
  12. Henry, G. T., Gordon, C. S., & Rickman, D. K. (2006). Early education policy alternatives: Comparing quality and outcomes of Head Start and state prekindergarten. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 28(1), 77–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Henry, G. T., Henderson, L. W., Ponder, B. D., Gordon, C. S., Mashburn, A. J., & Rickman, D. K. (2003). Report on the findings from the Early Childhood Study: 2001–02. Atlanta: Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.Google Scholar
  14. Hoepke, K., Cho, V., & Owen, S. M. (2001). Child care needs assessment, 1999–2000, San Mateo County. Redwood City, CA: The Child Care Coordinating Council of San Mateo County, Inc.Google Scholar
  15. Jacobson, L., Hirshberg, D., Malaske-Samu, K., Cuthbertson, B. B., & Burr, E. (2001). Understanding child care demand and supply issues: New lessons from Los Angeles. PACE Policy Brief 01–2. Berkeley, CA: University of California.Google Scholar
  16. Karoly, L. A., Kilburn, M. R., Cannon, J. S., Bigelow, J. H., & Christina, R. (2005). Many happy returns: Early childhood programs entail costs, but the paybacks could be substantial. RAND Review, 29(3), 10–17.Google Scholar
  17. Love, J. M., Kisker, E. E., Ross, C., Constantine, J., Boller, K., et al. (2005). The effectiveness of Early Head Start for 3-year-old children and their parents: Lessons for policy and programs. Developmental Psychology, 41(6), 885–901.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Oregon Child Care Research Partnership. (2003). Child care and education in Oregon and its Counties: 2000. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University.Google Scholar
  19. Policy Analysis for California Education. (2005). How to expand and improve preschool in California: Ideas, evidence, and policy options. Working Paper 05-1. Berkeley: University of California.Google Scholar
  20. Ramey, C. T., & Ramey, S. L. (2004). Early learning and school readiness: Can early intervention make a difference? Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 50(4), 471–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rolnick, A., & Grunewald, R. (2003). Early childhood development: Economic development with a high public return. Fedgazette. March.Google Scholar
  22. Schumacher, R., Ewen, D., Hart, K., & Lombardi, J. (2005). All together now: State experiences in using community-based child care to provide pre-kindergarten. Washington: Center for Law and Social Policy.Google Scholar
  23. Smith, E. C. (2004). Understanding child care supply and demand in the community. Columbia, MD: The Enterprise Foundation.Google Scholar
  24. The Policy Group for Florida’s Families and Children (2004). The cost of voluntary universal prekindergarten – working papers: An update. Available at www.policygroup.org. December.
  25. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2003). State-funded pre-kindergarten: What the evidence shows. December.Google Scholar
  26. U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2004). Prekindergarten: Four selected states expanded access by relying on schools and existing providers of early education and care to provide services. GAO-04-852. September.Google Scholar
  27. Vinci, Y., & Galvan, M. (2002). Data collection for building early learning systems: Using data for real world decision-making. Arlington, VA: National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. October.Google Scholar
  28. Wyatt, A. (2001). Child care needs assessment and profile of child care in Tompkins County, May 2001. Ithaca, NY: Day Care and Child Development Council of Tompkins County, Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Fischer
    • 1
  • Lisa Nelson
    • 2
  • Kristen Mikelbank
    • 1
  • Claudia Coulton
    • 1
  1. 1.Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, Mandel School of Applied Social SciencesCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Federal Reserve Bank of ClevelandClevelandUSA

Personalised recommendations