Volume 15, Issue 23

Hot Topics

Location, location, location

Much well-deserved attention has been focused on how cost can inhibit access to quality early childhood education. But a new report by Center for American Progress demonstrates that a family’s zip code can also be a hurdle.

Looking at eight states comprising 20 percent of US children under 5 years old, Child Care Deserts: An Analysis of Child Care Centers by ZIP Code in 8 States identifies “deserts” — areas with either no child care centers or so few that children under 5 outnumber spaces by more than three to one–and the consequences for families living there.

While higher-income areas area associated with a higher availability of center-based child care, the study states that in struggling communities, a local shortage of quality center-based care can aggravate the difficulties that low-income working families already endure.

After examining the presence, capacity, and quality ratings of child care centers across Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia, authors Rasheed Malik, Katie Hamm, Maryam Adamu, and Taryn Morrissey determined that 48 percent of the ZIP codes across those eight states are child care deserts.

And that means any real solution to accessibility must focus on both the cost and the convenience of quality early childhood education.

New on Preschool Matters…Today!

Questions of Access and Equity: Suspension and Expulsion in PreK

by Kate Abbott, Ph.D.

The issue of equitable access to high quality preschool across the nation cannot be ignored. Barriers exist, and have been correlated to demographic indicators of poverty and race.  More recently, the release of data by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights shows children with challenging behaviors may face additional barriers to quality prekindergarten due to disciplinary practices.

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CEELO Update

Chat Monday with USDOE about new ESSA ECE Guidance

New guidance recently released by the U.S. Department of Education focus on helping ensure young children get the strong start they need to achieve success in school and in life through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Join CEELO, state leaders from NAECS-SDE and representatives from USDOE Office of Early Learning at 3 pm ET Monday Oct. 31 to learn what this means for early childhood education. Register today for this timely and topical webinar.

For the first time, ESSA includes provisions promoting coordination of early learning throughout local communities; aligning preschool with early elementary school; and building the capacity of educators to provide the highest-quality early learning opportunities.  New guidance is intended to ensure that state and local decision-makers realize the importance of investing in early learning.


Red Light Green Light: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2016

A new report from the National Women’s Law Center shows that while situations for families relying on child care assistance improved in many states, overall improvements were modest and major gaps remain.

Given the importance of child care assistance to the well-being of parents and their children, it is essential for states to have strong child care assistance policies. This report examines states’ policies in five key areas: income eligibility for child care assistance, waiting lists for child care assistance, copayments required, reimbursement rates for child care providers serving families receiving child care assistance, and eligibility for child care assistance for parents.

NPR Series Highlights Child Care Affordability

In 1971, the United States came very close to having universal, federally subsidized child care. NPR examines how Congress came to pass the legislation, and why President Nixon vetoed it, in How Politics Killed Universal Child Care In The 1970s.

The struggle to afford quality early education continues today. In a second story, NPR focuses on families working multiple jobs or cutting their budget to the bare essentials to make ends meet when child care is so expensive.

CHILD CARE: Information on Integrating Early Care and Education Funding

A new federal Government Accountability Office report examines how state and local early care and education grantees are managing multiple funding sources and partnering with other providers to provide quality early care.

Millions of children under the age of 5 participate in federal and state early care and education programs each year. For fiscal years 2010 to 2015, Congress appropriated almost $48 billion to Head Start and over $31 billion to the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF).  To better leverage funds, expand services, and make quality improvements, many providers delivering these early care and education services are forming partnerships with other providers or combining funds from federal and other sources.

Coordinated Efficiencies in Monitoring and Oversight of Early Care and Education Programs

US Departments of Health & Human Services and Agriculture offer a new vision for improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of oversight of early care and education programs that encourages a  culture of health and safety and enables states to succeed in meeting goals of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014.

Early Education in the News

ICYMI: Read this week’s key stories on early childhood education issues.

Highlighting the week's most interesting stories and studies: Is your community a "child care desert"? How prek discipline affects access and equity. And a chance to talk with USDOE about new ESSA guidelines for ECE.