TeachME Professional Development

Evaluating Disadvantaged Families' Access to Early Education

1. In a study examining how low-income children’s access to early care and education (ECE) might differ from that of their higher-income peers, and how child care subsidy policies could be helping to close the gap, four dimensions of access were evaluated, including each of the following EXCEPT:

A. Are reasonable efforts made to give parents multiple options for care and do they feel like they have a choice in their search for care? B. What is the role of child care subsidy policies for low-income families’ access to ECE, and does the parent perceive the child’s primary care type to be affordable? C. Do the care centers have staff with higher education, adequate on-going training, and low teacher turnover? D. Is the child using a care type that meets the parents’ preferences in terms of nurturance, helping children be ready for school, teaching children how to get along with other children, safety, affordability, and flexibility?

Key Findings-Table 1

2. For all groups, including infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, low-income parents were less likely than higher-income parents to use a care type that met their preferences for nurturing care as the primary care type.

A. True B. False

Background and Purpose

3. Parents’ child care decisions are influenced by their preferences, opportunities, and:

A. Experiences B. Values C. Priorities D. Constraints


4. Overall, all households studied tended to use a type of ECE care that met their preferences in safety, affordability, flexibility, nurturance, helping children get ready for school, and in teaching children how to get along with others.

A. True B. False

ECE Center Analysis

5. Research findings indicate that among centers without public funding, centers serving subsidized children had a statistically significant lower average quality score than centers without subsidized children.

A. True B. False

Implications for Policy and Research

6. Which of the following is NOT a true statement about study results pertaining to income-based disparities in access to ACE?

A. Low-income families were less likely to feel that they have a choice when they make a child care decision, and considered fewer options during their searches B. Low-income families using nonparental care were less likely than higher-income families to use center-based care as their child’s primary care type, especially for their infants and toddlers C. While free center-based ECE options have increased in recent years--with options such as state pre-K, Head Start, and Early Head Start--these do not reach all low-income families who might benefit from them D. The lack of choice and options suggests that low-income families could benefit from subsidies, if they allow the family to consider multiple options to find care that meets their needs, such as flexible scheduling

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