To evaluate the adequacy and efficiency of preschool education, the RAND Corporation has undertaken the California Preschool Study to improve understanding of achievement gaps in the early elementary grades, the adequacy of preschool education currently given, and what efficiencies or additional resources might be brought to bear in early care and education (ECE). This volume provides a comprehensive assessment of publicly funded ECE programs for preschool-age children — for California as a whole, and for four case-study counties: Los Angles, Merced, San Diego, and San Mateo. California’s system of publicly subsidized ECE programs for preschool-age children has evolved over time into a complex array of mostly targeted programs supported through multiple funding streams. The authors find that there is a sizeable gap between the number of three- and four-year-old children eligible for such programs and the number that can be served given current program funding. In addition, the quality of ECE programs for preschool-age children is uncertain, and the sometimes low standards are compounded by a reimbursement structure for subsidized care that gives little incentive for providing higher quality programs. Finally, potential inefficiencies in the system may limit the benefits from the dollars spent.
|Author(s)||Lynn A. Karoly, Elaine Reardon, Michelle Cho|
Demographic Studies, Outcome Evaluations, Policy Briefs