Exploring Quality, Access, and Funding in Early Care and Education

Teacher reading to two children

Child care that is nurturing, safe, affordable, flexible, prepares kids to learn in school, and teaches them to get along with others is critical for development. But it can be challenging to figure out how to fund high-quality child care and make it accessible to families. Data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education allow us to learn more about the intersections of early care and education quality, access, and funding.

We hope these explorations will inform debates about state and federal policies, procedures, and funding that support children’s development and parents’ employment. We also hope our findings and reflections inspire other researchers to build upon our work. So far, we have addressed the following questions:

1. How do parents’ birthplaces factor into their preferences for child care?

Child Care Choices of Low-Income Immigrant Families with Young Children
Heather Sandstrom, Julia Gelatt
November 7, 2017

2. What payment policies and rates lead to high-quality child care?

Subsidy Policies and the Quality of Child Care Centers Serving Subsidized Children
Julia B. Isaacs, Erica Greenberg, Teresa Derrick-Mills
February 6, 2018

Are Higher Subsidy Payment Rates and Provider-Friendly Payment Policies Associated with Child Care Quality?
Erica Greenberg, Julia Isaacs, Teresa Derrick-Mills, Molly Michie, Kathryn Stevens
February 21, 2018

3. How does the quality of early care and education teaching staff vary by types of child care centers, types of funding, and characteristics of the families enrolled? What are the implications for accessing high-quality child care?

Assessing Quality across the Center-Based Early Care and Education Workforce
Erica Greenberg, Olivia Healy, Teresa Derrick-Mills
February 6, 2018

4. What are the challenges of analyzing data using the National Survey of Early Care and Education, and how might you overcome them?

How Parental Preferences and Subsidy Receipt Shape Immigrant Families’ Child Care Choices
Heather Sandstrom, Julia Gelatt
November 7, 2017

Are Higher Subsidy Payment Rates and Provider-Friendly Payment Policies Associated with Child Care Quality? (Methods brief)
Teresa Derrick-Mills, Julia Isaacs, Erica Greenberg, Molly Michie, Kathryn Stevens
February 6, 2018