Children & Families

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

Small Steps

An adequate supply of high-quality child care is viewed by many experts as crucial to the success of the welfare overhaul enacted four years ago, which aims to move aid recipients into the workforce.

But a recently released report, which examines child care in two states, Illinois and Maryland, says child-care slots in those states increased only slightly after 1996, the year that the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act passed.

In the following two years, both states saw only a 6 percent increase in regulated child care for every 1,000 children under age 13, according to the study, which was conducted by the National Center for Children in Poverty's Child Care Research Partnership at Columbia University in New York City.

The researchers also found that, during that time, communities with higher concentrations of low-income people in both states saw little growth in the child-care supply. More growth occurred in areas with lower concentrations of poor families.

Center-based care had increased in both states by 1998, but most of that growth took place in more affluent neighborhoods. The number of family child-care providers, who care for youngsters in the providers' own homes, actually declined slightly.

For preschool-age children, the news was better, especially in Maryland. In that state, the number of Head Start programs grew by 15 percent, and the number of prekindergarten programs increased by 34.6 percent. In Illinois, the number of Head Start programs did not change, but the number of other prekindergarten programs grew by 9.2 percent.

The researchers, who have received funding for their work from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, stress that policymakers should form a better understanding of the "dynamics of supply and demand" in targeted communities.

"Given evidence that quality child care helps prepare children for school success and is especially important for low- income children, policymakers must make special efforts to ensure that all parents, including those in low-income communities, have quality options in regulated care, as well as supports for quality in unregulated settings," the report says.

Copies of "Scant Increases After Welfare Reform: Regulated Child Care Supply in Illinois and Maryland, 1996-1998" are available for $8 from the National Center for Children in Poverty by calling (212) 304-7100.

—Linda Jacobson

Vol. 19, Issue 43, Page 15

Published in Print: August 2, 2000, as Children & Families

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >