ECE in the News

Child care, preschool remain hard to find, and stark gaps exist in California

Author: Bruce Fuller and Karen Manship
Date: July 25, 2018
Publication: UC Berkeley News

Berkeley Early Childhood Think Tank and American Institute of Research logos“The new analysis ­— Achieving Fair Access to Early Education ­— takes an unprecedented look at pre-k enrollment rates statewide, along with disparities in supply across regions and among local communities (zip codes). It was conducted by researchers at American Institutes of Research (AIR) and UC Berkeley.

“California has shown discernible progress in widening access to preschool for 4-year-olds,” said Karen Manship, principal researcher at AIR and lead author of the study. Over two-thirds attended preschool in 2016, the most recent year with complete data. Almost 70 percent of children from low-income families gained access to local centers.

“But pre-k remains painfully scarce for families with 3-year-olds across California,” Manship said. Just over one-third (34 percent) of the state’s 3-year-olds attend preschool statewide, far below other states nationwide. “And only one in eight infants and toddlers are in licensed care arrangements.””

Read the full article here.

San Francisco needs more infant and toddler care and higher wages for early educators

Author: Monica Walters, CPAC
Date: July 13, 2018
Publication: San Francisco Bay View

Stand for Children Day - Child care stops the cycle of poverty Sacramento 05-08-15“The San Francisco Child Care Planning and Advisory Council (CPAC), a state-mandated body charged with identifying local priorities for quality, affordable and accessible early care and education services in the city, has released its much anticipated 2017 Community Needs Assessment. San Francisco has made great progress in recent years in offering financial subsidies to preschool-aged children and increasing the overall capacity for licensed early childhood education options.

However, there are significant unmet needs for licensed centers and family child care homes that serve infants and toddlers, and critical workforce investments are also required to attract and retain qualified early education teachers.”

Read the full article here.

Measures to fund child care reach the ballot in two California counties

Author: Carolyn Jones
Date: March 25, 2018
Publication: EdSource

“Voters in Alameda and San Francisco counties will have a chance on June 5 to approve tax measures funding ambitious childcare programs that organizers say would provide enough subsidies for all low- and middle-income families who need them.

The two measures would each raise more than $140 million annually to expand existing childcare programs, boost the educational quality of those programs and increase the pay of childcare workers. The goal is to help parents go back to work after the birth of a child and improve children’s readiness for kindergarten.”

Read the full article here.

Why child care costs more than college tuition – and how to make it more affordable

Author: Taryn Morrissey
Date: March 9, 2018
Publication: The Conversation

A teaching assistant helps a child with glue at Redwood Early Learning Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Photo by Danny Johnston/AP

“Amid the continually rising cost of tuition, the idea of free college has received growing attention over the past few years. For instance, from 2014 to 2017, 35 states took up 80 bills related to free college.

Early care and education has also received attention, but it could be given more, especially when you consider how child care for infants costs more than tuition at four-year public colleges in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Similarly, child care for 4-year-olds costs more than public college tuition in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

The reality is that child care in America is expensive and out of reach for many families. Whether center-based or family child care, the average cost of child care nationally exceeds US$8,600 per year.”

Read the full article here.

SF City Hall rivals seek leverage in dueling ballot measures

Author: Rachel Swan
Date: March 1, 2018
Publication: SF Chronicle

“One group wants to build housing. The other wants to provide child care for all families in San Francisco. Both want to shake money out of the pockets of the city’s biggest landlords.

But the duel between two tax measures — one from the city’s moderates, one from its progressives — is really about two factions of City Hall trying to knock each other down.”

Read the full article here.

Where Does Your Child Care Dollar Go?

Author: Simon Workman
Date: February 14, 2018
Publication: Center for American Progress

preview of "Where does your childcare dollar go?" interactive calculator

“Understanding the true cost of high-quality child care is an important step in building support for a public investment in early childhood education.

Across the United States, it is not unusual for child care tuition to be the first- or second-largest household expense for families, costing more than mortgage or rent. Many parents feel justifiably overwhelmed as they begin their child care search. Not only are parents faced with limited options, long waitlists, and a lack of information about programs, but they also are hit with a steep price tag, which in many cases is more than the cost of in-state tuition at a public college.

Meanwhile, early childhood teachers are some of the lowest-paid professionals; nearly 40 percent of child care teachers rely on public assistance at some point in their careers. Early childhood programs themselves also operate on tight budgets. Most are small, independent businesses that are left to rely on in-kind support or philanthropic contributions to stay afloat.

If child care teachers are paid so little and early childhood programs are struggling to make ends meet, many parents are justifiably left asking the question: Why does child care cost so much?”

Read the full report here, and build your own child care with their corresponding interactive here.

Trump’s Attack on Immigrants Is Breaking the Backbone of America’s Child Care System

Author: Leila Schochet
Date: February 5, 2018
Publication: Center for American Progress

“If Congress pulls the Dream Act, I would lose seven staff members. It’s huge.”
—Nancy*

Nancy is the director of a rural Midwestern Head Start center. Like many people across the country, she is concerned about the fate of nearly 800,000 young immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. Nancy’s Head Start program employs seven teachers who are protected by DACA. She worries about how her program will continue to operate if she loses those teachers.”

Read the full article here.

Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least?

Kejo Kelly in the playground of Springfield Arbors, now called Bright Futures.
Photo by Natalie Keyssar for The New York Times

Author: Jeneen InterlandiDate: January 9, 2018
Publication: The New York Times

“To an outsider, it was tough to say which of the children’s behaviors were normal for 3- and 4-year-olds and which were signs of bigger issues. Increasingly, classrooms like the one over which Kelly presides are being eyed by social scientists and policymakers as both the place where problems emerge and the safety net that stands the best chance of addressing them. Preschool is often thought of as mere babysitting. But a growing body of research suggests that when done right, it can be much more than that. An effective early-education program can level the playing field for low-income black and Hispanic students relative to their white or wealthier counterparts, so much so that gaps in language comprehension and numeracy can often disappear by the start of kindergarten. And according to at least two longitudinal studies, the very best programs can produce effects that reach far beyond those early years, increasing the rates of high-school completion and college attendance among participants and reducing the incidence of teenage parenthood, welfare dependence and arrests.”

Read the full article here.

San Francisco Ballot Measure Aims To Increase Childcare Subsidies

Date: January 8, 2018
Publication: CBS SF Bay Area

“Supervisors Jane Kim and Norman Yee Monday announced a ballot measure that would finance the expansion of childcare subsidies with an increase in the city’s gross receipts tax. The measure, which is expected to appear on the same June 5 ballot as a hotly contested mayoral election and the District 8 supervisorial race, would raise the city’s commercial gross receipts tax by 3.5 percent, according to Kim.

That increase would provide more than $100 million in annual revenue, an amount that would allow the city to eliminate a waiting list of around 2,400 families for subsidized childcare, expand the number of available spaces for working and middle class families and increase the pay for the lowest wage childcare workers. The measure is intended to help keep working and middle class families in the city.”

Read the full article here.

Childcare subsidies measure announced to make it on SF's June ballot

Date: January 8, 2018
Publication: Fox KTVU

“Supervisors Jane Kim and Norman Yee today announced a ballot
measure that would finance the expansion of childcare subsidies with an increase in the city’s gross receipts tax.

The measure, which is expected to appear on the same June 5 ballot as a hotly contested mayoral election and the District 8 supervisorial race, would raise the city’s commercial gross receipts tax by 3.5 percent, according to Kim.”

Read the full article here.

How sexism and old-fashioned ideals hurt child care operators

Author: Mike Elsen-RooneyDate: November 20, 2017
Publication: The Hechinger Report

Lorna Parks serves lunch at her home-based child care program, called House of Joy, in Detroit. Most home child care programs include a midday meal, usually prepared by the owner.
Photo by Michael Elsen-Rooney/The Teacher Project

“America pretty much treats its child care workers—even the owners of home-based centers like Parks—as nothing more than babysitters. (Parks hates that comparison, quipping that she’s never sat on a baby in her life.) In many places, they are paid like babysitters (the majority of home-based providers gross less than $35,000 a year, and that’s before factoring in the expenses of running the program), they have zero health and other benefits, and, like most babysitters, they are required to have next-to-zero training or educational expertise. (Only 15 percent hold bachelor’s degrees; Michigan, where Parks works, only requires 16 hours of training a year to grant a license to a home-based operator.)

They also have complicated, vitally important jobs. Child care workers often spend more time with young children than their own parents do and end up being responsible for preparing them academically and socially for school. “We’re educators, moms, we’re the nurse, social workers, we cook, we clean,” Parks said. “We have very long days.””

Read the full article here.

Supervisors Propose Universal Child Care Ballot Measure

Author: Nathan FalstreauDate: September 27, 2017
Publication: Hoodline

“In June 2018, San Franciscans may get to weigh in on a ballot initiative that would enact universal childcare for city residents. At yesterday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim joined District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee to advance the initiative. The two instructed the Controller’s office to analyze the proposal’s costs and benefits.

“Nationwide, 60 percent of households with children do not have a stay-at-home parent,” Kim said, noting that center-based childcare for an infant in many states costs more than tuition and fees at public universities. “With these stark realities, we know that we must do better.””

Read the full article here.

San Francisco Considers Universal Childcare Program

Date: September 26, 2017
Publication: CBS SF Bay Area

“Following the successful launch of a program offering free tuition at City College of San Francisco this fall, Supervisors Jane Kim and Norman Yee are now leading a push for a universal childcare program.

Kim asked the city controller’s office Tuesday to analyze the costs and benefits of providing what she described as “universal, affordable childcare.””

Read the full article here.

Changes in SF’s child care subsidies help some, panic others

Author: Rachel SwanDate: June 20, 2017
Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

“Now San Francisco has many competing goals. Blechman and others want to lower the cost of day care and make it available to everyone. They want to raise the salaries of child care workers and preschool teachers who can’t afford to live in San Francisco. They want to elevate the quality at all facilities, so that kids throughout the city get a well-rounded curriculum of science projects, crafts, cooking, music and imaginative play.

‘We really want to make this as universal as possible,’ said Supervisor Norman Yee, a longtime advocate for parents and families whose district includes residential areas on the city’s west side.

‘There just isn’t enough funding to do everything, Blechman said.'”

Read full article here.

SF pressured to help families struggling with day care, preschool

Photo by SFCCPA.

Author: Rachel SwanDate: June 20, 2017
Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

“Child care advocates are pushing the city to set aside $10 million in its next budget to fund education programs for young children.

Yet such measures are small and incremental for an industry that’s being hit on all sides. Many day care centers are getting squeezed by high rents, which force some to shut down and others to raise fees. At the same time, the child care labor force is shrinking: A recent survey by the city’s Child Care Planning and Advisory Council showed that more than a third of centers can’t enroll to their full capacity because they don’t have enough teachers – the jobs pay too little to justify getting the credentials or cover the cost of living in San Francisco.

“Right now, early childhood (care) is paid for by teachers having really low wages, or parents’ fees going up,” said Sara Hicks-Kilday, director of the San Francisco Child Care Providers’ Association.

Salaries for preschool teachers with master’s degrees go as low as $23,000 a year, which is “nowhere near the minimum survival wage in San Francisco,” said Gretchen Ames, Bay Area regional coordinator for the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network – a nonprofit working to boost the state’s supply of affordable child care.

Ames said the low wages are causing San Francisco to hemorrhage child care workers, and putting severe strains on the ones who stay. Some drive in from as far away as Vallejo, she said. Others cannot afford to put their own children in child care. Still others juggle multiple jobs.”

Read full article here.

SF Mayor Lee wants to expand homeless child care in the city

Date: May 11, 2017

Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

“It may seem like a small amount of money in the overall effort to help the homeless in San Francisco, but to parents struggling to get back on their feet, free child care means everything.

To meet their needs, Mayor Ed Lee is expected to announce a proposed $2.1 million expansion of the city’s homeless child care program Friday, offering the first glimpse about what his priorities will be for the city’s $9.6 billion budget in the 2017-18 fiscal year. The funding would nearly double the number of homeless children receiving the help.

“Even though times are tight, this is a budget priority for him,” said September Jarrett, director of the Office of Early Care and Education. “We have so many unmet needs.”

The funding would add 140 slots to the program, which now serves about 150 children per year, eliminating the current wait-list of homeless children younger than 5 who need child care.

The program would cover up to $21,740 annually in home child care or day care centers for each child from birth to age 5. This year, the cost of the program is $2.7 million.”

Early Childhood Workforce Index

The Early Childhood Workforce Index, released summer 2016, generated news articles nationwide.
The Index “represents the first effort to establish a baseline description of early childhood employment conditions and policies in every state and to track progress on a state-by-state basis to improve early childhood jobs.” See interactive index here. From this page you can find more information about the multi-year initiative.

How rising child care costs affect the workers taking care of your kids

Photo by SFCCPA.
Photo by SFCCPA.

Author: Date: August 11, 2016 | 12:47 PM
Publication: Marketplace

US Department of Ed and HHS report

The U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services released this report in summer 2016. It “shines a spotlight on the gap in pay for early education teachers-97 percent of whom are women-and the impact that inequity has on schools’ ability to attract and retain experienced, high-quality staff with higher levels of education.” See the U.S. Department of Education Fact Sheet here, and the full report here.

Child Care PROVIDERS STRUGGLE TO AFFORD RISING MINIMUM WAGE

Photo by SFCCPA.
Photo by SFCCPA.

Author:  Andrew Stelzer
Date: June 9, 2016
Publication: KQED News

“If you’ve got kids, or are expecting one, you’ve probably been warned a million times: Child care is expensive. But just how expensive is it here in the Bay Area?

About $1,800 a month and up for an infant, according to Kim Kruckel with the Child Care Law Center in San Francisco.

The price might come down a bit once your kid is walking or out of diapers, but not by much. It means that monthly expense is more than rent or a mortgage payment for most people. So why does child care cost so much?”

Read the full article and hear the radio piece here.

It Takes a Policy

Author:Date: May 16, 2016
Publication: New York Times

Read more here.

SF Teachers Struggle Amid Costly Housing

Photo by SFCCPA.
Photo by SFCCPA.

Share Your Story with the Press!

Letters to the Editor can be a powerful way to let the Bay Area community know how important early care and education is. Further, the more letters a newspaper gets about a specific topic, the more likely they are to print the letters. Please join us in writing a letter today! See more information here.