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Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis Project, 2005-2018

Project Overview

The Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis Project is a contract awarded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation to Child Trends. The purpose of this contract is to support the provision of expert consultation, assessment and analysis in child care and early education policy and research to the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), including activities related to:

  • providing expert advice, assistance and consultation in support of the agency’s research priorities and goals;
  • conducting assessment, analyses and summaries of policies, practices and research of relevance to the agency’s mission;
  • conducting studies to inform policy and practice and the development of new research priorities;
  • identifying and refining measures and instruments to improve the collection of data related to program policies and practices, and to program outcomes for families and children;
  • identifying sources of data and conducting statistical analyses on national and other original data-sets to answer questions of relevance to the Agency on child care utilization, child care supply, and the effects of child care and other early childhood policies on parental and child outcomes;
  • providing expertise in the preparation of written materials; and
  • convening experts on early care and education research and policy issues of relevance to the administration of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and other early childhood programs in States, Territories, and Tribes.

Products supported through this contract include literature reviews, measures compendia, meeting summaries, briefing papers, webinars, research briefs, and research-to-policy/research-to-practice briefs.

The point of contact is Ivelisse Martinez-Beck.

  • Conceptualizing and Measuring Access to Early Care and Education

    Published: November 5, 2020

    Recent federal, state, and local policies and initiatives focus on increasing access to high-quality ECE for all families. Given the prevalence and potential importance of these initiatives for families and children, it is useful for the field to take stock of how access to ECE is conceptualized and measured and to understand the extent to which context, purposes, and available indicators shape the assessment of access.

  • Understanding Facilitators and Barriers to Professional Development Use Among the Early Care and Education Workforce

    Published: November 4, 2020

    This report describes the ways in which individual characteristics and factors at the program and system levels are associated with individual teachers’ and caregivers’ participation in PD in a nationally representative sample of ECE teachers and caregivers.

  • Early Care and Education in Rural Communities

    Published: July 6, 2020

    Much like the 7.8 million families with young children in urban areas, many of the 1.1 million families with young children in rural areas need and use early care and education (ECE). Families across the United States face challenges accessing child care, and challenges often vary by population density. Although the definition of what constitutes an urban, suburban, and rural area differs across studies, the literature suggests that...

  • Early Care and Education Supports for Young Children Experiencing Homelessness

    Published: May 15, 2020

    The experience of homelessness is a known risk factor for young children’s development and well-being. High-quality early care and education may help children overcome some of the negative factors associated with homelessness. However, states, communities and early care and education providers face many barriers to ensuring access to care for these young children, including challenges with identifying children who are or are at risk of experiencing homelessness...

  • Measuring Readiness for Change in Early Care and Education

    Published: November 26, 2019

    Researchers and policymakers in the early care and education (ECE) field are interested in understanding the factors that contribute to successful quality improvement (QI) initiatives in ECE settings. They also want to learn about factors leading to improved outcomes for children and families through successful QI initiatives. One factor posited to influence the success of such initiatives is the readiness of individuals and organizations to adopt new quality improvement practices.

  • Supporting the Use of Administrative Data in Early Care and Education Research: Resource Series

    This set of resources is intended to strengthen the ability of state/territory child care administrators and their research partners to utilize administrative data to address policy-relevant early care and education research questions. The resources are designed for researchers who are new to the analysis of administrative data as well as seasoned users of administrative data who are expanding their research to include new types of administrative data (e.g., expanding to a new state or new agency).

  • Child Care Subsidy Stability Literature Review

    Published: June 12, 2019

    Stable, high-quality child care has numerous benefits for children and families, including providing support for child development and enabling parents to work. To make child care accessible to low-income families, the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) offers guidance and funds to states, territories, and tribes to...

  • A Conceptual Model for Quality in Home-Based Child Care

    Published: April 3, 2019

    In 2012, 3.8 million home-based child care providers in the United States cared for more than 7.1 million children. These home-based child care providers represent a diverse group including licensed family child care programs along with family members, friends, and neighbors who regularly care for children.

    Over the last decade, the landscape...

  • The Role of Licensing in Supporting Quality Practices in Early Care and Education

    Published: April 3, 2019

    Licensing is traditionally viewed as providing the foundation (or the floor) of quality in early care and education (ECE) settings. States and territories are responsible for licensing child care programs, and a license serves as permission to legally...

  • How Much Did Households in the United States Pay for Child Care in 2012? — Child Age, Household Income, & Community Urbanicity Snapshots

    Published: January 22, 2019

    These snapshots describe U.S. households’ costs for, and usage of, ECE in 2012, looking at differences by age of child, household income, and community urbanicity.

More Reports on this Project