The Administration for Children and Families has contracted with Mathematica and the Erikson Institute to complete various activities examining home-based child care (HBCC) supply and quality. HBCC is a vital part of our nation’s child care supply and the most common form of care for children living in poverty. Yet, HBCC providers have fewer resources and supports when compared to providers in child care centers, and many HBCC providers face challenges in providing quality care. Additionally, the supply of licensed and publically subsidized family child care has declined dramatically over the past decade. This project will: (1) fill gaps in our understanding of HBCC supply; and (2) address challenges defining and measuring quality in HBCC settings. The following research questions will drive study activities:
- What are the key drivers of HBCC supply?
- What are the essential features and drivers of quality in HBCC, and how should these features be measured?
- What factors support or inhibit HBCC provider participation in quality improvement efforts and in early care and education systems?
The study team will address these questions by:
- Reviewing existing literature, quality measures and indices, and data sets relevant to HBCC
- Developing a conceptual framework on quality in HBCC
- Analyzing existing data on HBCC provider characteristics and experiences
- Developing a research agenda and design reports to guide future research
If optional services components are exercised, Mathematica and Erikson will collect original data and develop a new measure of HBCC quality.
The study team will engage a variety of stakeholders, including state and local administrators, quality improvement providers, provider networks and associations, policymakers, and researchers, in shaping and learning from contract activities and will communicate project insights to the field through various products, such as reports, briefs, and presentations.