Inequalities in Access to Early Care and Education? Family-Centered Measures of the Cost-Quality Tradeoff

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Humphrey School of Public Affairs, room 205

Elizabeth Davis, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota

Co-investigators: Won F. Lee and Aaron Sojourner

Dr. Elizabeth (“Liz”) Davis is a Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota, where she is engaged in graduate and undergraduate education and research focused on economics and public policy related to low-income families and young children. Her current research focuses on how the child care subsidy program influences mother’s employment, child care choices and quality of care.

Recent policy initiatives in Minnesota, including expansion of the Parent Aware Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) and funding for early learning scholarships, are intended to improve access to high quality early care and education (ECE), particularly for children in low-income families. In this study we develop new measures of access that combine information on the spatial locations of providers and families, prices, and quality ratings to measure the cost-quality tradeoffs families face when choosing care arrangements for young children. We use these measures to describe the characteristics of locations with high costs of access and analyze how ECE policies and funding may change families’ access to high quality care.

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