Arizona Demand and Capacity for Early Child Care

Project: Research project

Description

The consortium of Arizona Board of Regents' (ABOR) Universities - University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University - proposes to conduct a development and research project investigating the demand for child care services and the capacity of providers to offer those services to families needing care in Arizona. The project is structured geographically by the First Things First (FTF) Regional Partnership Councils (RPCs) and is tailored to Arizona families and providers. Unique to the proposed project will be the development of methodology and instrumentation in conjunction with local, state, and national resources that will increase the likelihood of participation by parents and providers who have community-specific needs and assets. The project includes two major components: a direct investigation of nine RPCs that have requested information on Demand and Capacity of early child care in their particular regions and a statewide sampling of parents and providers from urban, rural, border, and tribal communities. Three phases will be implemented for each study: (a) Planning and Development, (b) Pilot, and (c) Implementation. Building on the work of the First Things First External Evaluation (FTFEE) project, the Demand and Capacity studies will use a mixed-method approach - including both qualitative and quantitative measures. Qualitative measures include open-ended interview questions that will enable parents (in the Demand Study) and providers (in the Capacity Study) to speak in greater depth about relevant issues to the studies. Qualitative interviews often reveal more of the nuances and rich, contextual information that RPCs have indicated they want to learn about - particularly in "understudied" areas of their regions. Qualitative measures also include focus group discussions used initially to finalize the design of each study. Quantitative measures include snrvey questions that offer forced choice responses which can be statistically analyzed. The first series of studies will provide information about factors associated with the child care Demand and the type of child care services that parents wish to have available for their children. Four separate data collection methods will be employed: pilot study, parent survey, mail-based data collection, and focus groups. At a minimum, the sample for the parents will include 1173 interviews (973 for the nine RPCs and 200 for the State components, respectively). The RPC sample was determined by a calculation of population data, number of parents with children under six, and financial contribution of each RPc. The second series of studies will focus on Capacity to provide child care to children under the age of six in Arizona. These studies include the same four data collection methods as the Demand study in addition to a snowball sampling procedure that will provide information about the capacity of unregnlated care for each RPC and Arizona. During the Planning and Development phase, the team will review data from the first study and reevaluate the methodology for this second series of studies. The Pilot will be used to refine the methodology for this study. At a minimum, a sample of 629 provider surveys will provide information about what services are available by providers and the focus group will provide detailed information regarding issues that affect provider capacity. At the conclusion of this study, we will be able to provide an estimate of the demand for child care and reasons why parents choose to use child care and the type of day care they desire. We will be able to provide information about geographic and demographic variations within Arizona. The capacity study will provide information about the number of slots available for children within the RPCs and for the State. Fnrthermore, the type of child care services that are provided will be become available. These studies will provide information on t
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date6/1/1012/30/11

Funding

  • Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board: $489,011.00

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child care
parents
demand
data collection method
methodology
planning
day care
mail survey
interview
qualitative interview
development project
group discussion
community
assets
research project
Group
participation
evaluation
resources