Socioeconomic Disparities in North Carolina Communities: Issues of Access and Quality of Licensed Child Care.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joanna K. Lower (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Deborah Cassidy

Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between child care program quality and the socioeconomic contexts of the communities in which they operate. The sample, which included nearly all licensed child care providers in North Carolina in 2008, resulted in 6882 programs nested within 619 zip codes and 78 counties. The cross-sectional design integrated data from multiple sources. Child care program characteristics, including rated program quality, were acquired from the North Carolina Division of Child Development. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau was used to measure socioeconomic characteristics of communities at the zip code level. Data from the North Carolina State Head Start Collaboration Office, North Carolina Office of School Readiness, and the North Carolina Division of Child Development were incorporated to examine program funding and subsidy levels from various sources. Data from the North Carolina Partnership for Children were used to identify quality enhancement funds at the county level. Multi-level modeling was utilized to examine the nested data structure of child care programs within communities. Child care quality varied across communities and program quality was modestly correlated when programs were in closer proximity. Program level characteristics, as well as community level socioeconomics were both related to differential quality among child care programs, suggesting that access to high quality child care varies across community contexts.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
child care policy, child care quality, community context, early childhood education, quality rating and improvement system, socioeconomics
Child care services $x Evaluation.
Child care services $x Economic aspects $z United States.
Early childhood education.
Child care.

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