Home » Community » Research & Evaluation Services

Research & Evaluation Services

CCRC’s highly skilled and professional Research & Evaluation staff ensure optimal services for families and children by providing internal and external stakeholders with useful tools and information that can be used for program evaluation, forecasting and strategic planning, contract compliance, and advocacy.

Child Care Needs of Families Experiencing Homelessness in Los Angeles County

In April 2019, the Child Care Resource Center hired HMA Community Strategies to lead a mixed-methods research project to better understand the role of child care in supporting and lifting families out of homelessness, and the ways in which child care should be delivered to these families. Key partners to this effort included members of a Research Advisory Board as well as several community-based organizations who helped recruit and coordinate focus groups throughout Los Angeles County Service Planning Areas (SPAs) 1 and 2 (San Fernando and Antelope Valleys).

Research Purpose:

Identify the top needs of families experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County SPA 1 & 2

Better understand the role of child care in supporting and lifting families out of homelessness

Identify new models of child care delivery to better serve families experiencing homelessness

If you have questions about this research, please contact Dr. Susan Savage at 818.717.1040 or [email protected].

81% of People in CCRC’s Service Area Live in a Child Care Desert

Lack of affordable child care has negative results on parents, employers, children and the economy. The following link illustrates the existence of child care deserts in North Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties.

As seen in the tool, while 60% of people in California live in a child care desert, 69% of people in Northern LA County live in child care deserts but 77.1% of CCRC’s subsidized child care participants live in a child care desert. 95.2% of people in San Bernardino County live in child care deserts and a slightly higher percentage of CCRC’s subsidized child care participants live in a child care desert (96%). We found serious and troubling inequity in who lives in child care deserts:

  • A higher rate of Latinx, African-American, and Native-American families live in child care deserts compared with Caucasians and Asians
  • Higher poverty rate for children under age 6 (in LA, but not San Bernardino)
  • Lower rate of children with both parents in the workforce (if one stays home, they may not need child care)
  • Higher rate of children with single parents in the workforce (child care deserts may have lower costs of living)
  • Lower rate of maternal labor participation (chicken and egg – if no child care people can’t work and if they don’t have a job they may not seek child care)
  • Higher rate of workers who work non-standard hours (those working non-standard hours are often low-income and may select more affordable communities)

A number of policy recommendations are included in the story map. The time to focus funding in areas of greatest opportunity is now. If you have questions about this story map, please contact Dr. Susan Savage at 818.717.1040 or [email protected]

The Intersection Between Child Welfare and ECE

Early Care and Education (ECE)

The benefits of participation in high-quality Early Care and Education (ECE) are pronounced for children from low-income families and for those already involved with or at risk of entering child protective services (CPS). CCRC and the Children’s Data Network partnered to link records from SPA 1 and SPA 2 including birth records for all children born between 2010-2012, CCRC records for 0-5 year olds served between 2010-2016 and CPS records of children 0-5 years old from 2010-2016. Key findings from this work include (these are children age 0-5 years in SPA 1 and SPA 2):

  • 1 in 9 children in SPA 1 and 2 were served by CCRC; the same was found for CPS
Declines in Small Businesses Put Parental Choice at Risk

This brief illustrates the challenges faced by Licensed Family Child Care providers and the resulting declines in their numbers since 2008. Cuts to revenue and increases in costs result in these business owners being pushed below the Federal Poverty Level. Consideration of how to support these small business owners needs can preserve this support for California’s working parents.

CCRC’s Lessons Learned for the Statewide Emergency Child Care Bridge Program

CCRC’s evaluation of the California Emergency Child Care Bridge program revealed positive results for the well-being of children in foster care and their caregivers. It also revealed the increased capacity of child care providers to offer trauma-informed child care environments. Recommendations are offered to improve and strengthen this program for California’s most vulnerable children.

The 2019 Legislative brief highlights the significant economic impact of child care funding. Investments have positively strengthened and grown the ability to serve 4-year-olds. However, the $1B cut from child care has not yet been reinvested for other age groups or parents who work non-traditional hours. Children’s brains develop most of their capacity by age 3-5 years; we need to ensure they have access to high quality child care from birth. Research shows that early experiences set children on a path for success or challenges in the future – so we can invest now or pay much more for services later. Parent earnings and child care provider payments are spent in our local communities. The investment today is realized and seen in our communities now, as well as in the future.

Gateways for Early Educators™ Program

The Gateways for Early EducatorsTM, program funded by LAUP and First 5 LA, provided impactful quality improvement activities to the early care and education field by providing coaching and training from 2011 to 2016. In 2015-2016, 3,832 child care providers participated in professional development trainings and 1,015 participants received individualized coaching. Participants had an increase in knowledge and improved quality practices. This paper evaluates the importance of key elements of coaching such as relationship-building, goal setting, modeling, professional groups, and coaching intensity on participant knowledge and quality practices and provides information on the reach and impact of the program from 2011 to 2016.

Choose Health LA Child Care

From October 2013 to June 2016, the Choose Health LA Child Care program offered nutrition and physical activity training to 5,853 early care and education professionals and one-on-one coaching to 2,323 licensed center- and home-based child care providers, equipping providers with the knowledge, tools, and technical support to instill healthy habits in the children in their care. This Infographic depicts the program’s achievements from 2013 to 2016 and the Informational Brief describes the reach and impact of the program.

To measure the impact of training and coaching with the participating child care providers, a Policies and Practices Self-Assessment Questionnaire was collected. During the 2015-2016 program year statistically significant increases were found in various areas including:

• Parents are provided information on their child’s nutrition and physical activity while in child care.

• Parents receive written nutrition and physical activity policies upon enrollment.

• Special occasions and holidays are celebrated with healthy foods or with non-food treats.

• Staff participated in physical activities with children.

In addition, 20% to 62% of providers reported positive change in the foods they serve in their programs. The greatest challenges child care providers reported in creating healthy practices or routines in their child care programs included a lack of support from parents, and not enough money, training or equipment to make the changes. The majority of child care providers reported that parents were generally positive about the rules and guidelines for healthy practices of their program and about a third of providers saw an increased interest in their program because of positive changes they made to their program. This paper provides detailed findings from the Policies and Practices Self-Assessment Questionnaire.

Funding from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health allowed the Los Angeles County Child Care Resource and Referral agencies to convene and assess their capacity to support the child care community in emergency preparation, response, and recovery from an emergency. Although much was learned, gaps are still evident. This report explored the regulatory requirements and available resources for child care providers and incorporated these into feedback sessions where providers informed CCRC what is most relevant to them. Training sessions, toolkits and materials are designed using this community-based feedback.

Emergency Preparedness

This quasi-experimental study reveals just how critical subsidized child care is to working families. By comparing families who receive these services with families on the waitlist we were able to show that families who are served experience greater economic and social outcomes as well as greater child development outcomes. As assessed by the words of the parents themselves, the hopes and dreams of those on the waitlist are realized by those participating in the program.

Head Start helps families succeed! This report highlights the needs and experiences of 896 families of children enrolled in CCRC’s federally funded Head Start program during the 2013-2014 program year. Parents reported positive experiences and impact of the program. Parents indicated they felt supported by the program and that they are prepared to help their children succeed in kindergarten through elementary school because of their participation Head Start. Parents reported needs for their family including reliable child care, a need that affected various aspects of their lives, including their ability to continue their education, find employment, and participate in Head start program events, meetings, and trainings. This report highlights additional family need and family experiences in the Head Start program.

For more information please contact CCRC’s Director of Research, Dr. Susan Savage, at (818) 717-1040.

Menu