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ERIC Number: ED510176
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Community Voices: California Preschool Directors Speak on Policy Options. Working Paper 07-1
Fuller, Bruce; Gesicki, Kathryn; Sweo, Thea; Jung, Sunyoung
Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE (NJ1)
California continues to widen access to local child care and preschool programs--albeit in fits and starts--for a variety of families. About 65% of all four year-olds statewide now attend a preschool center. Government spends $3.6 billion on early care and education programs statewide, including a three-fold increase in state spending since 1996. Yet preschool access and quality remain unfairly distributed among the state's diverse communities. Four year-olds from poor Latino families remain about half as likely to attend a preschool center, compared with their counterparts from affluent families. Young children from blue-collar and lower middle-class families are slightly less likely to enter preschool, even relative to poor children. One persisting question is how to grow more plentiful and higher quality preschools, and how to ensure a robust balance between organizations run by schools or community organizations. About three-fifths of California four year-olds enrolled in preschool attended an organization supported through parental fees in 2005. The remaining two-fifths attended a publicly subsidized program. Voters went against Proposition 82 in 2006, which aimed to expand preschools via county education offices. Despite rising interest among policy makers, the authors know little about how preschool directors understand and evaluate policy options. This statewide survey of 439 directors of community preschools--those funded outside of school districts--inquired about basic facts and their perceptions of long-term issues. They examined: (1) The size, venue, and types of children served by community-based preschools; (2) How these local programs are financed, including support from parents and government; (3) The extent to which community preschools face excess demand from families, or worry about vacant enrollment slots; (4) How preschool directors prefer to improve the quality of their programs, including teacher training options; (5) Whether directors welcome or question the possibility of stronger state control over child development practices; and (6) How directors view the prospect of a unionized teaching staff. (Contains 13 figures, 5 tables, and 8 endnotes.)
Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE. 3653 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1670. Tel: 510-642-7223; Fax: 510-642-9148; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE)
Identifiers - Location: California