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Early and School-Age Care in Santa Monica

Early and School-Age Care in Santa Monica: Current System, Policy Options, and Recommendations

Ashley Pierson
Lynn A. Karoly
Gail L. Zellman
Megan K. Beckett
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
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  • Book Info
    Early and School-Age Care in Santa Monica
    Book Description:

    In July 2012, the City of Santa Monica Human Services Division and the Santa Monica–Malibu Unified School District contracted with the RAND Corporation to conduct an assessment of child care programs in Santa Monica. The project sought to assess how well Santa Monica’s early and school-age care programs meet the needs of families. Recommendations for improvement focused on advancing access, quality, service delivery, and financial sustainability.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8661-7
    Subjects: History, Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Boxes
    (pp. xi-xii)
  7. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xxviii)
  8. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xxix-xxx)
  9. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxxi-xxxiv)
  10. 1. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    The landscape of child care and early learning programs in the City of Santa Monica is complex, whether viewed in terms of the mix of public and private providers and other stakeholders or in terms of the array of funding streams that subsidize program costs for eligible families. As is true for the state as a whole, the current system has evolved in response to changes in federal, state, and local priorities and initiatives. Future shifts in funding levels, program auspices, and other program features are likely given the policy environment and budget outlook at each level of government. With...

  11. 2. Demographics of Santa Monica Families
    (pp. 7-12)

    According to the 2011 American Community Survey (ACS), Santa Monica had a population of 90,373 persons (U.S. Census Bureau, undated-a). In this section, we briefly present a profile of the city’s population in terms of its demographic, social, and economic makeup. For a number of the figures, we contrast Santa Monica with the county of Los Angeles and the state of California. We also consider the size and makeup of the population most relevant for considering ESAC: those under age 18 in the city’s population and those attending SMMUSD schools in Santa Monica. This demographic profile serves to provide a...

  12. 3. ESAC Funding Streams and Policy Environment
    (pp. 13-24)

    ESAC may be paid for by private sources—for example, by families themselves or perhaps by employers—or it may be partially or fully subsidized by federal, state, or local funding streams, either by payments to providers or families or through tax subsidies to families. In this section, we catalogue the various sources of public support for ECE and OST care—noting who is eligible to receive such government subsidies, which funding sources are currently used to pay for care in Santa Monica, and the funding outlook for each source. Our aim is to identify the funding sources that are...

  13. 4. Landscape of ESAC Providers in Santa Monica
    (pp. 25-38)

    In this section, we describe the ESAC programs and providers available in Santa Monica and discuss their capacity, funding sources, and other aspects of service delivery. We also use information from Chapter Two regarding cohort size, together with estimates of available capacity, to estimate potential participation rates. We consider ECE providers first, followed by OST providers, although some providers serve children from birth to age 12. As with the rest of our report, our focus is on licensed home- and center-based programs and on license-exempt, public, school-age, care providers. We do not consider license-exempt home-based care, such as hiring a...

  14. 5. Parents’ Experience with ESAC in Santa Monica
    (pp. 39-58)

    In this section, we explore the parent perspective on ESAC in Santa Monica in terms of their experience with care availability, offerings, quality, and use. From the parent perspective, we sought to inform the third research question, regarding how the current ESAC system could be improved or redesigned Although ESAC programs serve children, it is their parents who make decisions about which programs to use. In many cases, an important program goal is to provide parents a safe and developmentally appropriate setting for their child so that the parent can work or attend school. The ability of a program to...

  15. 6. Perspectives from Providers and Other Stakeholders
    (pp. 59-72)

    Since the ultimate purpose of this study was to develop options for ESAC programs in Santa Monica, it was evident from the project’s inception that it would be critical to elicit the views of a wide range of ESAC stakeholders in our study. Our project framework identifies a wide range of nonfamily stakeholders, including ESAC providers, staff of relevant city agencies, school district staff, resource and referral agency staff, and providers of training and workforce development. Talking to people who oversee and manage programs, deliver K–12 educational services to children, work with parents to find appropriate care, and educate...

  16. 7. Cost of Care in Santa Monica ECE and OST Settings
    (pp. 73-88)

    Data for California show that the average annual cost for center-based care in 2011 was $11,823 for full-time infant care, $8,237 for full-time care for a four-year-old, and $2,736 for before-and/or after-school care (Child Care Aware of America, 2011). Similar figures to serve children at these ages in family child care stood at $7,187, $6,916, and $3,015, respectively. However, such estimates of what California parents pay for care on average are unlikely to be a useful yardstick for Santa Monica, given the large differences in costs of living across California’s communities. Indeed, information on fees charged by Santa Monica-based ECE...

  17. 8. Models for ECE and OST in Other Communities
    (pp. 89-106)

    This section provides a summary of strategies and best practices being implemented as part of a variety of ECE and OST initiatives that we identified. This summary informs the second and third research questions regarding ways to integrate funding streams and improve and redesign the ESAC system. The ESAC models and initiatives profiled in this section were identified in three ways: 1) through conversations with City of Santa Monica staff and other community stakeholders; 2) through review of recently published reports from ECE and OST programs and organizations; and 3) through the knowledge and experience of members of the RAND...

  18. 9. Summary of Findings, Policy Options, and Recommendations
    (pp. 107-128)

    In this concluding chapter, we first provide a summary of the ESAC issues we have identified through the information collection activities and other analyses presented in Chapters Two through Eight. We continue to organize the discussion around the four key themes that relate to our study questions: access and participation, quality of care, service delivery, and financing. We then discuss policy options and recommendations that respond to the issues identified

    Table 9.1 presents a synthesis of key issues identified in earlier sections of this report. In some cases, the issues are relevant for both ECE and OST services; in other...

  19. Appendix A. Parent ESAC Survey Instrument
    (pp. 129-136)
  20. Appendix B. Parent Summer Program Survey Instrument
    (pp. 137-138)
  21. Appendix C. Parent Focus Group Protocol
    (pp. 139-142)
  22. Appendix D. Provider and Key Informant Interview Protocol
    (pp. 143-146)
  23. Appendix E. Methods for Collection of Provider Cost Data
    (pp. 147-148)
  24. References
    (pp. 149-156)