Child Care Indicators, 1998
Recently, we published Child Care Indicators, 1998: Part I. The present report represents Part II of this same series—aimed at providing local and state-level policy makers more complete data on the current capacity of the childcare system, as well as indicators of where growth in family demand may be observed in the coming years.
Part II provides three new sets of information. First, it adds county-level aggregates for all zip code indicators reported in the Part I volume. Raw counts, such as the number of child slots inside preschools and centers, simply represent total counts for each county. Ratio measures, for instance the number of family daycare home slots per 100 preschool-age children, were calculated for the entire county.
Second, Part II extends the zip code tables to include newly available data on how many single parents supported by the state's welfare program report job-related income and the level of these earnings. These indicators help to gauge levels of job demand for women with limited job experience or skills.
The most urgent need for expanded childcare capacity is in those counties and communities where single parents, supported by CalWORKs, are most likely to find jobs. It is in these locales that demand for non-maternal childcare arrangements will climb most rapidly. We also include estimates for the number of families who earn less than 75 percent of California's median income. These numbers suggest an additional layer of working-poor families who could benefit from quality childcare and preschool programs.
Finally, we have added new data on the size of the childcare workforce in each county. These data come from the Census Bureau's individual returns for the 1990 census. These counts of how many individuals make a living as a childcare center teacher or director of a family daycare home are somewhat old. But they provide additional insight into the wide disparities in the availability of childcare services across counties. The census data also reveal the large number of local residents who depend upon the childcare industry for their own livelihood.