Tag Archives: child care

Childcare is increasingly unaffordable

10 Nov

In University of Virginia study: Child-care ratings are often not connected to learning outcomes moi wrote: Child-care and preschool apparently fall into the category of we know good child-care when we see the effect. The National Network for Child Care says in INGREDIENTS FOR QUALITY CHILD CARE:

ENVIRONMENT
A quality environment is well planned and invites children to learn and grow. Centers and family day care homes that had a “neat, clean, orderly physical setting, organized into activity areas and oriented to the child’s activity” were found to have good child development (Clarke-Stewart, 1987, p. 113). Most states require 36 square feet of room per child for indoor areas, while 100 square feet per child is recommended outside (Gotts, 1988). There should be enough materials and equipment available that are developmentally appropriate for children of different age levels. Activities planned by the caregivers must also be developmentally appropriate and allow for imaginative play. Play opportunities that enhance children’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development are another indicator of high quality programs (Bridgman, 1988). Children need to be given time to play and explore using concrete materials in order to enhance their natural curiosity and intellectual development. http://www.nncc.org/Choose.Quality.Care/ingredients.html

A University of Virginia study finds that many rating systems don’t aid in finding quality child-care. https://drwilda.com/tag/child-care/

S. Jhoanna Robledo described the difference between preschool and daycare in the Baby Center article, daycare centers:

Preschools and daycare centers can be quite similar. “People tend to use the word ‘daycare’ in a derogatory way, but that’s a misconception,” says Leslie Roffman, director of San Francisco’s Little School. Daycare centers and preschools must meet the same licensing and accreditation requirements, they cost about the same, and you can evaluate them using many of the same criteria.

The biggest difference is how early they accept children. The term “preschool” refers to programs designed for children from the age of about 21/2 to 5 or 6. Daycare centers may serve a much wider age range. Some accept infants as young as 6 to 8 weeks old, young toddlers, and even elementary school children for after-school care.

Preschools may also have more limited hours than daycare centers — for instance, a few hours a day, two to five times a week. A growing number, however, offer extended hours so working parents can leave their kids for an entire day.

Curriculum may be one reason to go with a preschool. Many are organized around a specific educational theory or approach, such as Montessori or Waldorf. “If a large opinion survey were conducted on the difference between schools and childcare for preschool children, school-based programs (nursery schools and kindergartens) would be described as more educationally focused while childcare programs would be seen as more custodial,” writes Ellen Galinsky, co-president of the Families and Work Institute in New York, in her book The Preschool Years.

But the very best daycare centers also feature curricula carefully designed to encourage children’s cognitive, social, and physical development. If you have your child enrolled in one already, it might be better to sit pretty until regular school starts rather than switch in midstream.

Watch out for preschools or daycare centers that have stringent academic programs. “Be wary of programs that claim to teach academic skills or ‘speed up’ children’s intellectual development,” says the American Academy of Pediatrics in Caring for Your Baby and Young Child. “From a developmental standpoint, most preschoolers are not yet ready to begin formal education.” http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-preschools-differ-from-daycare-centers_64643.bc

Bill Chappell of NPR wrote the article, Child Care Costs, Already High, Outpace Family Income Gains.
According to Chappell:

In 2012, the cost of child care in the U.S. grew up to eight times faster than family income, according to a new study of the average fees paid to child care centers and family child care homes.
“Child care is an increasingly difficult financial burden for working families to bear,” said Lynette M. Fraga, executive director of Child Care Aware of America, a nonprofit research and advocacy group. “Unlike all other areas of education investment, including higher education, families pay the majority of costs for early education.”
According to the new findings, some families are spending more on child care than on food or rent, as NPR’s Jennifer Ludden reports for our Newscast unit:
“In most states, average child care center fees for an infant are higher than a year’s tuition and fees at a public college. …
“Factor in two kids, and the study finds average fees higher than the median rent in all states, and higher than the average food bill in all regions.”
In compiling its report, Child Care Aware of America looked at the costs of child care centers, including those run by religious organizations and family care homes. The findings don’t include other options such as nannies, or friends and relatives who look after children.
To compare the costs of caring for two children, the organization used data from the price of care for an infant and a 4-year-old.
The study ranked U.S. states according to the affordability of child care (as a share of median income for single or married parents), not by the overall cost of child care.
“The dollar cost of center-based care for infants was actually highest in Massachusetts” at nearly $16,500 yearly, according to the report, “compared to just over $13,450 per year in Oregon; however, as a percentage of median income for married couples with children, care was least affordable in Oregon.”
Oregon was also found to be the least affordable state for center-based care for a married couple with a 4-year-old, ahead of New York, Minnesota and Vermont.
The overall price of raising kids has also risen, according to government figures. Parents who had a child in 2012 can expect to pay $241,080 to raise him or her for the next 17 years, as Eyder reported for The Two-Way this past summer.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/11/04/243005358/child-care-costs-already-high-outpace-family-income-gains?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=share&utm_campaign=

Here is the press release from Childcare Aware of America:leases

Report: Child care costs exceed many household expenses
November 4, 2013
REPORT
The cost of child care continues to rise while families struggle to afford quality care, according to a new report from Child Care Aware® of America.
Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2013 Report, released today, reveals that families are paying more for child care, and are paying a significant part of their earnings for this care. In the last year, the cost of child care increased at up to eight times the rate of increases in family income.
In 2012, the average annual cost of full-time care for an infant in center-based care ranged from $4,863 in Mississippi to $16,430 in Massachusetts. For an infant in a family child care home, the average cost ranged from $3,930 in Mississippi to $11,046 in New York.
“Child care is an increasingly difficult financial burden for working families to bear,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America. “Unlike all other areas of education investment, including higher education, families pay the majority of costs for early education. Too many families are finding it impossible to access and afford quality child care that doesn’t jeopardize children’s safety and healthy development.”
Read the full report here. http://www.usa.childcareaware.org/costofcare
Contact: Tracey Schaefer
703-341-4148
Tracey.Schaefer@usa.childcareware.org
Child Care Costs in the U.S.: Expensive and Rising
Quality care difficult to afford for working families as increases in the cost of child care outpace increases in family
income

Arlington, VA, November 4, 2013 – The cost of child care continues to rise while families struggle to afford quality care, according to a new report from Child Care Aware® of America.

Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2013 Report reveals that families are paying more for child care, and are paying a significant part of their earnings for this care. In the last year, the cost of child care increased at up to eight times the rate of increases in family income.

“Child care is an increasingly difficult financial burden for working families to bear,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D.,
Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America. “Unlike all other areas of education investment, including higher
education, families pay the majority of costs for early education. Too many families are finding it impossible to access
and afford quality child care that doesn’t jeopardize children’s safety and healthy development.”

In 2012, the average annual cost of full-time care for an infant in center-based care ranged from $4,863 in Mississippi to $16,430 in Massachusetts. For an infant in a family child care home, the average cost ranged from $3,930 in Mississippi to $11,046 in New York.

For a 4-year-old, the average annual cost for center-based care ranged from $4,312 in Mississippi to $12,355 in New
York. The average annual cost for a 4-year-old in a family child care home ranged from $3,704 in Mississippi to $10,259 in New York.

Findings in the report about the high cost of child care in 2012 include:
-Child care fees for two children (an infant and a 4-year-old) in a child care center exceeded annual median rent
payments in every state.
-In every region of the United States, average child care fees for an infant in a child care center were higher than the
average amount that families spent on food.
-In 31 states and the District of Columbia, the average annual average cost for an infant in center-based care was higher than a year’s tuition and fees at a four-year public college.

The report uses 2012 data from a survey of Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) State Networks and local agencies to show the average fees families are charged for child care centers and family child care homes in every state and the District of Columbia. Cost data is provided for infants, 4-year-old children and school-age children. This year, the report also examines why child care is so expensive, why it’s more expensive in some states than others, and families’ options for paying for child care.

“We call on federal and state policymakers to make child care a top priority when working on budgets, particularly in
light of looming January cuts,” said Fraga. “We also call on parents, concerned citizens and early care and education
professionals to urge federal and state legislators to address the high cost of child care.”

To download a copy of Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2013 Report, please visit http://www.usa.childcareaware.org

Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2013 Report
Key Findings and Recommendations

Key findings:
-The cost of full-time center-based care for two children is the highest single household expense in the Northeast,
Midwest and South. In the West, the cost of child care for two children is surpassed only by the cost of housing in the
average family budget.
-The cost of child care fees for two children exceeded housing costs for homeowners with a mortgage in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
-Center-based child care fees for an infant exceeded annual median rent payments in 21 states and the District of
Columbia.
-Child care fees for two children (an infant and a 4-year-old) in a child care center exceeded annual median rent
payments in every state.
-In every region of the United States, average child care fees for an infant in a child care center were higher than the
average amount that families spent on food.
-In 2012, in 31 states and the District of Columbia, the average annual average cost for an infant in center-based care
was higher than a year’s tuition and fees at a four-year public college.
-Even the annual average cost of care for a 4-year-old, which is less expensive than care for an infant, was higher than public college costs in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

The 10 least-affordable states in 2012 for center-based care based on the cost of child care as a percentage of state
median income for a two-parent family (in ranked order):

For full-time center-based infant care: Oregon, New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Colorado, California, Illinois,
Hawaii, Washington and Kansas.

For full-time center-based care for a 4-year-old: Oregon, New York, Minnesota, Vermont, Colorado, Maine,
Massachusetts, Washington, Rhode Island and Illinois.

Recommendations:
-A national discussion about the impact of the high cost of child care. This discussion should explore federal and state options; innovative, low-cost solutions that have shown success; and what has worked in other industries.

-Congress to require the National Academy of Sciences to produce a study on the true cost of quality child care and to offer recommendations to Congress for financing that supports families in accessing affordable, quality child care.

-Congress to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to ensure all children in low-income
working families have access to affordable, quality child care.

-Congress to reauthorize CCDBG to include investing in Child Care Resource and Referral agencies to assist providers in becoming licensed and in maintaining compliance with licensing standards and help parents identify quality settings.

-The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to require states to eliminate barriers that prevent families from
easily accessing child care fee assistance, maintaining eligibility and identifying quality settings.

Child Care Aware® of America, our nation’s leading voice for child care, works with more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies to ensure that families in every local community have access to quality, affordable child care. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that increase the quality and availability of child care, offer comprehensive training to child care professionals, undertake groundbreaking research and advocate for child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about Child Care Aware® of America and how you can join us in ensuring access to quality child care for all families, visit http://www.usa.childcareaware.org.

Kayla Webley wrote an excellent report in Time magazine about Pew Charitable Trusts’ findings on a studies of preschool. In Rethinking Pre-K:5 Ways to Fix Preschool http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2094847,00.html

Our goals should be: A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood. ©
Think small, Not small minded ©

Money spent on early childhood programs is akin to yeast for bread. The whole society will rise.

Related:

The state of preschool education is dire https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/the-state-of-preschool-education-is-dire/

Oregon State University study: Ability to pay attention in preschool may predict college success https://drwilda.com/2012/08/08/oregon-state-university-study-ability-to-pay-attention-in-preschool-may-predict-college-success/

Pre-kindergarten programs help at-risk students prepare for school https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/pre-kindergarten-programs-help-at-risk-students-prepare-for-school/

What is the Educare preschool model? https://drwilda.com/2012/11/09/what-is-the-educare-preschool-model/

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University of Virginia study: Child-care ratings are often not connected to learning outcomes

19 Sep

Child-care and preschool apparently fall into the category of we know good child-care when we see the effect. The National Network for Child Care says in INGREDIENTS FOR QUALITY CHILD CARE:

ENVIRONMENT
A quality environment is well planned and invites children to learn and grow. Centers and family day care homes that had a “neat, clean, orderly physical setting, organized into activity areas and oriented to the child’s activity” were found to have good child development (Clarke-Stewart, 1987, p. 113). Most states require 36 square feet of room per child for indoor areas, while 100 square feet per child is recommended outside (Gotts, 1988). There should be enough materials and equipment available that are developmentally appropriate for children of different age levels. Activities planned by the caregivers must also be developmentally appropriate and allow for imaginative play. Play opportunities that enhance children’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development are another indicator of high quality programs (Bridgman, 1988). Children need to be given time to play and explore using concrete materials in order to enhance their natural curiosity and intellectual development.
http://www.nncc.org/Choose.Quality.Care/ingredients.html

A University of Virginia study finds that many rating systems don’t aid in finding quality child-care.

Christine A. Samuels reported in the Education Week article, Child-Care Rating Systems Earn Few Stars in Study: Tool said to fall short in predicting quality:

A new study on child-care rating systems appears to bolster concerns among some in the early-learning field that the ratings generated by those systems are only tenuously connected to learning outcomes.
The researchers, who were from several universities, found that children attending highly rated pre-K programs did not have significantly better results in math, prereading, language, and social skills when they finished the programs, compared with the children attending lower-rated programs.
The findings, published last month in the journal Science, could have implications for states as they work to tie their ratings to real-world outcomes.
Researchers were studying “quality rating and improvement systems.” As a result of federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grants, funding from states, and foundation support, nearly every state has or is creating such a system, known by the shorthand QRIS. About 13,000 child-care programs in 20 states have been rated through a QRIS. Most of the systems use symbols such as stars to represent levels of quality. But those systems draw in so many elements that a center’s rank may end up with a distant connection to teacher-child interactions, which are known to be a strong predictor of how well children do in preschool and afterward, said Terri J. Sabol, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University and the study’s lead author.
“My biggest take-away is that states need to simplify their rating systems,” Ms. Sabol said in an interview. “There’s something really appealing about having these five-star systems, but that comes at a cost because those stars don’t mean a lot for child outcomes.”
Gladys Wilson, the president and CEO of Qualistar Colorado, an organization that rates child-care centers in that state, said the rating system has had the benefit of providing a clear path to continuous improvement for care providers. The “improvement” aspect of a QRIS is as important as the ratings themselves, she said.
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/09/11/03qris.h33.html?tkn=QZLFll1p9rMj4VpPniesUSGJQda2jpD5ew2V&cmp=clp-edweek

Citation:

Can Rating Pre-K Programs Predict Children’s Learning?
1. T. J. Sabol1,*,
2. S. L. Soliday Hong2,
3. R. C. Pianta3,
4. M. R. Burchinal2
+ Author Affiliations
1. 1Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
2. 2Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
3. 3Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA.
1. ↵*Corresponding author: terri.sabol@northwestern.edu
Summary
Early childhood education programs [e.g., prekindergarten (pre-K)]—characterized by stimulating and supportive teacher-child interactions in enriched classroom settings—promote children’s learning and school readiness (1–3). But in the United States, most children, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, attend programs that may not be of sufficient quality to improve readiness for school success (4). States are adopting Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRISs) as a market-based approach for improving early education, but few states have evaluated the extent to which their QRIS relates to child outcomes. We studied the ability of several QRISs to distinguish among meaningful differences in quality that support learning.

See, Child-Care Quality Rating and Improvement Systems in Five States http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG795.pdf

Here is the press release from the University of Virginia:

States’ Methods for Rating Preschool Quality Fail to Predict Children’s Readiness for Kindergarten
Published on 08/22/13, in News [1] » Press Releases [2]
Website Addresses Used in the Document
1. http://curry.virginia.edu/news
2. http://curry.virginia.edu/press-releases
3. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6148/845.summary
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Aug. 22, 2013 — According to findings published today in the journal Science [3], publicly funded pre-kindergarten classrooms that received the highest marks in quality rating systems used by the majority of states are no better at fostering children’s school readiness than classrooms with lower ratings.
However, researchers at the University of Virginia, Northwestern University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill isolated one factor of the many used in the rating systems that did make a difference in school readiness: the quality of teacher-student interactions.
Preschool ClassEven before President Obama promised to work with states to “make high-quality preschool available to every child in America” during his February 2013 State of the Union Address, national debate was taking place to accurately define “high-quality preschool.”
“A primary purpose of preschool is to advance children’s learning and development in preparation for kindergarten; this is especially true for disadvantaged children who are mostly served by publicly funded programs,” said Robert Pianta, dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia and founding director of U.Va.’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning. “Yet these findings demonstrate that current program quality evaluation models don’t predict the very thing that public pre-K programs are being designed and funded to produce.”
The paper, “Can Policy-Relevant Ratings of Pre-K Programs Predict Children’s Learning?” is co-written by Pianta; Terri J. Sabol, postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern; Sandra L. Soliday Hong, postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina; and Margaret R. Burchinal, senior scientist at the University of North Carolina.
These researchers used data from two studies of nearly 3,000 children in 703 state-funded pre-kindergarten classrooms from nine states, representing a variety of pre-kindergarten models in use across the United States. Using this data set, investigators calculated the extent to which various features of program quality included in each of nine different states’ Quality Rating and Improvement Systems, or QRIS, actually predicted children’s readiness for kindergarten at the end of their year in pre-K.
A Quality Rating and Improvement System is a method for collecting and compiling information on program features presumed to measure program quality. Higher ratings should equal higher quality. To the extent that enrollment in high-quality pre-K programs is a means of fostering children’s success in school, then children attending higher-rated programs should perform better on measures of kindergarten readiness. To determine readiness, children’s learning and development were evaluated by assessing gains in academic skills, language skills, social skills and problem behaviors in the pre-kindergarten year.
The researchers selected the five most commonly used measures of quality used in multiple states’ QRIS: staff qualifications, physical environment, class size,teacher-child ratio and qualities of interactions between teachers and children. They combined these indicators to calculate overall quality ratings using formulas from the QRIS systems used in nine states.
Results demonstrated that whether a child was enrolled in a highly rated program was unrelated to their gains in learning during pre-K or their readiness to begin kindergarten.
While the aggregate ratings, with many measures, didn’t predict children’s learning, the researchers were able to pinpoint a single measure that would identify quality pre-K classrooms and consequently, which students would learn more.
“Children who were in classrooms with higher ratings based on observed interactions between teachers and students were more prepared for kindergarten,” Sabol said.
This study suggests that states ought to make changes in the ways they rate the quality of pre-K programs. Rating systems should focus on rating the quality of teacher-child interaction in order to assess and improve the components that matter most for children’s learning, Sabol said.
“Quality pre-K education can make a real difference for children,” Pianta said. “Yet when we measure program quality, we must focus on the features that actually make that difference for children. The major policy models being used for evaluation relate neither to children’s learning gains in the pre-K year nor to school readiness. Of all the features of preschool programs that can be measured, observations of teacher-child interactions may be most valuable.”
Website Addresses Used in the Document
1. http://curry.virginia.edu/news
2. http://curry.virginia.edu/press-releases
3. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6148/845.summary

Your toddler not only needs food for their body and appropriate physical activity, but you need to nourish their mind and spirit as well.
There are several good articles which explain why you do not want your toddler parked in front of a television several hours each day. Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE has a very good explanation of how television can be used as a resource by distinguishing between television watching and targeting viewing of specific programs designed to enhance learning. In Should Babies and Toddlers Watch Television? Weiss comments about the effects of young children and television. MSNBC was reporting about toddlers and television in 2004. http://pregnancy.about.com/od/yourbaby/a/babiesandtv.htm

In the MSNBC report, Watching TV May Hurt Toddlers’ Attention Spans the following comments were made:

Researchers have found that every hour preschoolers watch television each day boosts their chances — by about 10 percent — of developing attention deficit problems later in life.
The findings back up previous research showing that television can shorten attention spans and support American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that youngsters under age 2 not watch television.
“The truth is there are lots of reasons for children not to watch television. Other studies have shown it to be associated with obesity and aggressiveness” too, said lead author Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a researcher at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle.
The issue is whether prolonged television watching affects a child’s brain development. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/4664749

See, How to Have a Happier, Healthier, Smarter Baby http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/childrens-health/articles/2010/10/19/how-to-have-a-happier-healthier-smarter-baby

Parents and caregivers must interact with their children and read to them. Television is not a parental substitute.

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