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This report examines families’ access to early care and education using a definition of access that examines whether parents, with reasonable effort and affordability, can enroll their child in care that supports child development and meets parents’ needs.

 

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.

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.

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...

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...

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.

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).

States and territories have increasingly worked to strengthen their early care and education (ECE) systems to more efficiently and effectively serve young children. It can still be challenging, however, to coordinate ECE systems’ multifaceted funding streams, services, standards, and regulations.This report summarizes publicly available information about the coordination or inclusion of Head Start across various aspects of state and territory ECE systems. 

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...

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...