Child-Care Aid and Quality for California Families: Focusing on San Francisco and Santa Clara Counties. PACE Working Paper Series.Report as inadecuate

Child-Care Aid and Quality for California Families: Focusing on San Francisco and Santa Clara Counties. PACE Working Paper Series. - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Against the backdrop of evolving welfare policies in California following the approval of federal welfare reforms in 1996, the Growing Up in Poverty Project is examining how single mothers and their children fare as they move from cash aid to jobs, the types and quality of child care arrangements selected, and if mothers' access to child care subsidies bolsters their employability. This paper reports on wave 1 data, collected in 1998 from the 410 participating mothers residing in San Francisco or Santa Clara county. Data were collected through in-depth interviews and observations of each child's child care or preschool setting. Comparative quality data were obtained from 176 centers and family child care homes in the Bay Area and in Connecticut during 1997. Findings indicate that child care centers and preschools were of moderate to high quality. The array of child activities and educational content of home-based settings was not impressive. Areas of quality weakness include the provision of ample language and reading materials, and time to read and exercise communication skills with young children. Mothers reported that kith and kin were more respectful of their own parenting practices than were child care centers or preschools and were more flexible in terms of when the caregiver was available. They also believed that the child received more individual attention, compared to those using centers. Women who selected child care centers or preschools often received subsidies to cover the cost. Only a small fraction of women selecting home-based arrangements took advantage of available subsidies. Several risk factors were associated with this pattern: (1) having an infant or young toddler rather than a child over age 3; (2) coming from a Latino or Vietnamese-American community; (3) having spent less time on welfare; and (4) living in a neighborhood with fewer center-based enrollment slots. Appended are descriptive statistics for quality data for both counties. (Author/KB)

Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Day Care, Day Care Centers, Early Childhood Education, Educational Quality, Family Day Care, Longitudinal Studies, Low Income Groups, Mothers, Parents, Poverty, Toddlers, Welfare Recipients

PACE, University of California, Graduate School of Education, 3653 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1670 ($10). Tel: 510-642-7223; Web site:

Author: Fuller, Bruce; Chang, Yueh-Wen; Suzuki, Sawako; Kagan, Sharon Lynn


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