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Monday, September 17 • 11:00am - 11:50am
Family-Centered Measures of Access to Early Care and Education

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Access to affordable, high-quality early care and education (ECE) is important for families and communities because of the dual role of ECE in facilitating employment of parents and in supporting child development. As understanding of the importance of early childhood learning environments expands, disparities in access to high-quality ECE have become of increasing concern to policymakers. To ensure adequate access to child care and early education, particularly for low-income families, policymakers and planners need accurate measures of access in order to target resources to locations and families with greatest need. Most studies of ECE access rely on counts of licensed capacity of child care providers within specific geographic areas such as census tracts or ZIP codes. These indicators ignore the reality that families can cross administrative boundaries to find the nearest or preferred child care provider.

In this presentation, we introduce new family-centered indicators of access to early care and education (ECE) services with respect to quantity, cost, and quality.  We present three types of indicators to capture three different and important dimensions of access: quantity, cost and quality.

The findings show that conclusions one draws about child care accessibility in different communities can sharply differ depending on how access measures are calculated. These improved indicators of accessibility yield better understanding of unmet childcare needs of different communities across the state.


Elizabeth Davis

University of Minnesota
avatar for Jonathan May

Jonathan May

Director of Innovation, Think Small

Monday September 17, 2018 11:00am - 11:50am CDT
Heritage Gallery
  MEASURE, Children & Family
  • Presentation Format TALK (one of two talks in a 50 min. session)