Family-centered measures of access to early care and education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study proposes new family-centered measures of access to early care and education (ECE) services with respect to quantity, cost, and quality and uses them to assess disparities in access across locations and socio-demographic groups in Minnesota. These measures are distance-based and use available geographic data to account for the fact that families can cross arbitrary administrative boundaries, such as census tract or ZIP code lines, and thus better reflect the real experiences of families than conventional area-based measures. Combining synthetic family locations simulated from Census demographic and geographic data and information on ECE provider locations, we calculate travel time between the locations of families with young children and ECE providers to measure families’ access to providers of different types. The results yield a map of areas with low and high relative ECE access. The average family in Minnesota lives in a location where there are nearly two children for every nearby slot of licensed capacity, however, access to ECE supply varies considerably at the local level. The supply measure can also serve as a weight useful in computing family-centered measures of ECE quality and access costs, incorporating both prices and travel costs, to further characterize the local ECE market from the perspective of families. Improving the measures of variation in families’ access to ECE quantity, cost, and quality is valuable as policymakers consider expansions to public supports for early learning and ECE entrepreneurs decide where to invest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-486
Number of pages15
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Volume47
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

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Education
education
Costs and Cost Analysis
Censuses
costs
census
travel
Demography
Quality of Health Care
public support
Child Care
entrepreneur
Learning
supply
Weights and Measures
market
learning
experience
Group

Keywords

  • Child care
  • Child care access
  • Early education
  • Slots per tot
  • Two-stage floating catchment area

Cite this

Family-centered measures of access to early care and education. / Davis, Elizabeth E; Lee, Won F.; Sojourner, Aaron.

In: Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Vol. 47, 01.04.2019, p. 472-486.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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