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ERIC Number: ED350083
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar-31
Reference Count: 0
School Readiness: The Contribution of Formal Early Education and Care Programs. Draft.
Kisker, Ellen Eliason
Preparing America's children to start school ready to learn will depend in large part on the availability, quality, and affordability of early education and care. Research conducted since the 1970s indicates that, despite increases, the supply of formal early education and care programs is not adequate to meet the needs of all families. Many centers and regulated child care programs are operating at capacity, while many parents of preschoolers report that they would prefer another type of care. Formal education and care options appear to be more limited for children at risk of later school failure. Average group sizes, child-staff ratios, and teacher turnover have increased since the late 1970s, while teacher qualifications have improved dramatically. The quality of care has decreased since the 1970s in order to keep parent fees affordable. First, this paper presents data from the Profile of Child Care Settings (PCS) study on the availability and adequacy of options for formal care, utilization rates, parental satisfaction with care, admission policies, recruitment strategies, average enrollment, and enrollment of children from low-income and minority families. Next, other studies on the availability, quality, and affordability of formal early education and care are reviewed. Information is presented on: (1) average group sizes in centers and regulated family child care; (2) child-staff ratios in both settings; (3) caregiver qualifications in centers and regulated home-based settings; (4) turnover among caregivers; (5) organizational sponsorship of home-based providers; (6) parent fees; and (7) revenues from government sources. (AC)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Class Size, Day Care Centers, Early Childhood Education, Educational Assessment, Educational Demand, Educational Quality, Educational Supply, Enrollment, Fees, Income, Low Income Groups, Minority Groups, National Surveys, Parent Attitudes, Participant Satisfaction, Preschool Education, School Readiness, Teacher Student Ratio
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, NJ.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).