The Availability of Early Childhood Education and Care in the United States: Exploring Links Between Policy, Availability and Effects, 1990-2005
Co-Principal Investigator: Daphna Bassok
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the availability of early childhood education and care (ECEC), explore the extent to which policies and regulations impact supply, and examine the link between supply and child outcomes. This study will explore the impact of childcare regulations across all types of early childhood education and care settings including family day care homes, private child care, Head Start, and state-funded preschool programs. The research team will address the policy and practice implications of the study findings.
Project Activities: The research team will use nine data sets to answer research questions related to the availability of early childhood care and education services and children's school readiness. These data sets provide comprehensive information on early childhood education, including information about child care regulations, businesses, and child outcome data. The research team will complete descriptive analyses and estimate regression models to examine the primary research questions.
Products: Products include information regarding the availability of early childhood education programs, the characteristics of the early childhood workforce, and the relationship between child care supply and children's outcomes. It is expected that the findings from this Exploration study will inform the design of Development and Innovation projects to address early childhood policy and practice issues such as the high turnover rate in the early childhood workforce. The study findings will be summarized in conference presentations and published reports.
Setting: The research team will use several secondary data sets to answer the proposed research questions. See descriptions under Population.
Population: The study population includes child care businesses, members of the early childhood workforce, and children in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.
Intervention: Not applicable.
Research Design and Methods: The primary aims of this project are to: (1) provide a longitudinal, national examination of the supply of early childhood education; (2) explore the extent to which child care regulations impact the supply of child care; and (3) examine the link between early child care supply and children's school readiness outcomes. A number of research questions will be addressed.
In year 1 of the study, the research team will construct a data set on family day care, center care and state preschool regulations and conduct preliminary analyses to examine the availability of early childhood care and education between 1993 and 2005. The research team will look at the overall availability of ECEC providers, trends in the career trajectories of members of the early childhood workforce and the relationship between the availability of ECEC providers and community characteristics. Preliminary analyses will be conducted to examine the relationship between ECEC regulations and the availability of ECEC providers. The research team will also combine the ECEC availability data with data from the ECLS-B, ECLS-K and the NLSY79C to examine the relationship between the availability of early childhood care and education programs and children's school readiness outcomes in preschool and kindergarten. In year 2 of the study, the research team will conduct final analyses and report the study findings.
Control Condition: Not applicable.
Key Measures: The research team will use information available on state policies and regulations regarding ECEC businesses and caregivers to measures of children's kindergarten readiness based on their pre-literacy and pre-mathematics competency, social skills, motor skills, and other measures in the ECLS and NLSY79C.
Data Analytic Strategy: The research team will complete descriptive analyses and estimate regression models using fixed effects methods to examine the primary research questions.
Publications from this project:
Bassok, D., Fitzpatrick, M., and Loeb, S. (2012). Does State Preschool Crowd-Out Private Provision? The Impact of Universal Preschool on the Childcare Sector in Oklahoma and Georgia (No. w18605). National Bureau of Economic Research.