Resource Library

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The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.

 

New report describes business leaders’ perspectives on, and roles in, childcare

December 7, 2021 – Young Children, FamiliesChildcare, Workforce

A report from the Bipartisan Policy Center describes findings from a series of roundtable conversations on childcare with business leaders in 2019 and 2020. The report finds that many business leaders are aware of how childcare affects their employees, even if they’re unclear on their role in addressing the challenge. The authors find business size is correlated with capacity to support employee childcare needs, and while very small businesses are interested in supporting their workers, they don’t always have resources to do so. Most business leaders didn’t see onsite childcare provision as feasible, although offering tax incentives to businesses that provide family-friendly leave policies was favored by businesses large and small. The brief recommends business leaders collect information on their employees’ needs, quantify the business effects of inadequate childcare, consider family friendliness of company policy, and partner with local organizations to consider shared solutions.

Wide variety in comprehensiveness of states’ childcare consumer education websites

December 7, 2021 – Young ChildrenChildcare

A new report from the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation assesses and compares states’ early childhood education consumer education websites, with special focus on the comprehensiveness and ease of access. The evaluation finds that most states’ websites include information about the availability of childcare subsidies, but far fewer were comprehensive in addressing other elements that shape family access. Specifically, only six states aggregated all their consumer education information into a single website, and only eight included information on all elements identified as important for easing families’ access to care.

New Hampshire seeks contract with Vermont hospital to serve children’s mental health needs

December 6, 2021 – Young Children, Older YouthCOVID-19, Mental Health

Facing enduring elevation in the number of children seeking inpatient mental health services, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is proposing to contract with a Vermont hospital to provide 10 additional inpatient beds through the next six months. The department estimates 100 children could be served by such a contract—children who are otherwise waiting weeks in the emergency room for an inpatient bed in New Hampshire to become available. The director of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness noted that wait-list length has approximately quadrupled since before the pandemic and estimated that a 15-child waitlist is equivalent to a two-week wait for services. Per state data, a record 51 children were awaiting services in February 2021, although this has dropped to 12 as of December 2021. If approved, the Vermont contract would be renewable for up to four years, allowing the state to complete its planned purchase and expansion of an existing hospital to better align with child and family needs in the state.

States, including Maine, are leveraging COVID relief funds to advance equity in childcare

November 30, 2021 – Young Children, FamiliesChildcare, COVID-19, Education, Mental Health

The Center for Law and Social Policy has published a factsheet highlighting the ways that some states are investing American Rescue Plan Act funds to advance equity and bake in policy change that will support ongoing federal investment. The report specifically highlights Maine’s plan to use federal relief funds to expand mental health and socioemotional support programming to children and providers, as well as the state’s shift to enrollment-based reimbursement for subsidies (rather than the traditional attendance-based). Other states’ efforts to increase pay, reduce barriers to access through higher eligibility cutoffs or waived copays, stabilize provider revenue through higher subsidy reimbursement, or to support home-based childcare providers are also lauded.

Preschool enrollment continued to inch upward pre-pandemic

November 22, 2021 – Young ChildrenEducation

The U.S. Census Bureau tracks changes in preschool enrollment between 2005 and 2019, finding that just under half of 3- and 4-year-olds are enrolled. Although overall enrollment has fluctuated by just a few percentage points over time, the more consistent trend is the shift toward public preschool, as more states implement their own public programs. In Washington, DC, where universal public preschool was unveiled in 2008, more than 80 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds were enrolled. Because the data do not cover the pandemic period, the Bureau utilized a separate source to describe national preschool enrollment trends in 2020, finding that enrollment fell from 54 to 40 percent between 2019 and 2020.

Kindergarten enrollment trends back up, but administrators remain cautious

November 10, 2021 – Young ChildrenCOVID-19, Education

A new report from education blog Chalkbeat describes the unevenness that the pandemic has wrought for kindergarten enrollment. While enrollment fell nationwide by 9 percent in 2020, many districts saw enrollment rise in 2021, although often not to pre-pandemic levels. While trends of decreased enrollment reduce pressure on state budgets, fewer students can mean decreased public support for school systems within the community. As educators and administrators grapple with the long-term trends, getting children up to speed on basic skills interrupted by the pandemic remains the immediate priority.

Barriers and opportunities to connecting home-based childcare providers with federal programs

November 9, 2021 – Young ChildrenChildcare, COVID-19

A new paper from the Urban Institute focuses on supporting home-based childcare (HBCC) providers’ participation in federal programs, from childcare scholarships to financial supports from the Small Business Administration. The report cites evidence that during the pandemic, parents have preferred the smaller and more flexible settings HBCC providers offer. The authors cite unfamiliarity with the programs, challenges enrolling, and difficulty meeting program requirements as key challenges facing HBCC providers. Given new pandemic-era funding for the childcare sector, authors note that states could provide dedicated outreach and support staff for helping HBCC providers navigate the federal programming landscape. They also cite formal HBCC network opportunities as a promising model, and suggest that fully utilizing federal resources is key to stabilizing the HBCC sector.

Reviewing the literature on the Head Start-kindergarten transition yields new theory of change

October 27, 2021 – Young ChildrenChildcare, Education

The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation at the Administration for Children and Families has published a new literature review summarizing existing knowledge on the transition between Head Start to kindergarten for children, families, and educators, with the goal of understanding systems-level practices that can build on the successes of early learning. From the specialized and targeted knowledge base, the report yields a theory of change that the authors suggest can support successful transitions to kindergarten.

Report gathers evidence on measuring quality in home-based childcare

October 22, 2021 – Young Children, Older Youth, FamiliesChildcare, Racial Equity

As part of its “Home Based Child Care Supply and Quality Project,” the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation has published a literature review that summarizes features of childcare quality in home-based settings. The work finds wide variation in the definition of home-based childcare (HBCC), but some common features of quality, including those related to learning environments and the provider’s relationships with children and families. The review finds that HBCC providers often excel at certain quality features like mixed age and nontraditional hours care, but also that there is scant scholarship on family friend and neighbor (FFN) care, compared with licensed/registered/listed family childcare (FFC). The paper concludes with recommendations that future research focus on children, families, and providers from historically marginalized groups, on HBCC for older children or children with disabilities, and on drawing in multiple or mixed methods to best understand the breadth and long-term outcomes of HBCC experiences.

Bipartisan Policy Center report identifies roles for community foundations in meeting local childcare challenges

October 21, 2021 – Young Children, FamiliesChildcare

To supplement federal and state efforts to support the childcare sector, a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center calls attention to the role that community foundations can play in local-level interventions. The authors suggest that these foundations benefit from deep local knowledge, a high degree of trust, and capacity to leverage non-governmental sources of funding that can support the sector in their own communities. The report highlights the efforts of foundations in eight states, and lists strategies that many foundations share, including funding needs assessments, shared service models, and advocacy efforts.

Summary of early childhood educator convening focuses on racial, economic, and social justice

October 21, 2021 – Young Children, FamiliesChildcare, COVID-19, Racial Equity, Workforce

The Urban Institute recently published coverage of its January 2021 convening of early childhood education researchers, which focused on strengthening financial equity and workforce wellbeing among educators with a racial, economic, and social justice lens. The paper summarizes discussion and presentations from the event, concluding that the pandemic worsened conditions of pay and wellbeing for early educators in ways that reflect much longer-running conditions of structural racism. Focusing investment on home-based providers or infant/toddler educators—sectors in which women of color are disproportionately represented—could provide a pathway to addressing this gap.

Census Bureau reports that children were more likely than adults to experience episodic poverty, chronic poverty between 2013-2016

August 30, 2021 – Young Children, Families, SeniorsPoverty

An analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 Panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) found that 44 percent of children under age 18 experienced episodic poverty—poverty lasting at least two consecutive months—between 2013 and 2016. Seniors aged 65 and older had the lowest rate of episodic poverty at 15.8 percent, with working-age adults (18-64) falling in between at 33.6 percent. Over the 2013-2016 period, the median number of consecutive months that children experienced poverty was 11.8 months. Children under 18 years old were also most likely to experience chronic poverty—that is, living in poverty every month of the 2013-2016 period. An estimated 4.6 percent of children were in chronic poverty, as compared to 2.4 percent of working-age adults and 1.5 percent of seniors.