Panel Paper: Supply of Early Care and Education: Differences By Community Poverty

Saturday, November 9, 2013 : 4:10 PM
Salon III A (Ritz Carlton)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Ann Witte, National Bureau of Economic Research
Since 1990, there has been no nationally representative data available on early care and education providers. The 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) provide a comprehensive new look at providers of early care and education. The NSECE uses a fifty state (and DC) sample of: (1) child care centers (including Head Start and public Pre-K programs), (2) nonparental, home-based providers appear on administrative lists (e.g., licensing lists, registration lists) and (3) nonparental, home-based providers identified through a household screener and appearing on none of the administrative lists obtained. Responses were obtained for over 8000 child care centers (response rate 74%), 5600 home-based child care providers (response rate 78%). Using this NSECE data, this paper will describe the availability (via enrollment and provider ability to serve more children), characteristics of center and non-parental, home-based care for children aged 0 to 60 months old, nationally, and then by low, moderate and high poverty communities. 

This unusually rich and comprehensive provider data also describes the community-level early care and education context. It is this context that parents face when deciding whether or not to use non-parental care. For those utilizing non-parental care, the data describe the range of possible choices that may be available to parents. We will describe this provider context for future, local-level analyses of the demand and supply of early care and education. 

In March, 2013, the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced a comprehensive plan to provide every preschool child a strong foundation for future success by providing high quality, preschool education (see and Achieving this goal will require a substantial increase in the enrollment of preschoolers in high quality early education and care. Analyses of nonparental and early education providers from the NSECE will be some of the few currently available to provide context at a national scope to inform this initiative.