Matching Funds for Retention Incentives for Early Care and Education Staff Evaluation
Beginning in early 2001, First 5 California Children and Families Commission (First 5 California) provided matching funds to county First 5 Commissions in support of programs aimed at improving retention and increasing training and professional development among early care and education (ECE) staff. First 5 California contracted with PACE to assess these programs, evaluating the differential effectiveness of childcare retention incentive (CRI) models developed throughout the state.
This 2002–03 progress report highlights findings from the ten CRI programs chosen for in-depth study. Five of these counties (Alameda, Napa, San Luis Obispo, Siskiyou, and Ventura) began their program in the 2000–01 fiscal year and are referred to as “Phase I” counties. The other counties (Butte, Fresno, Riverside, San Mateo, and Stanislaus) began their programs the following year and are referred to as “Phase II” counties. This report highlights findings from the first two years of implementation within Phase I counties and the first year of implementation within Phase II counties.
Data were collected through a phone survey of participants, as well as through site visits to each county. Although the final report will provide the most comprehensive evaluation of CRI programs, this progress report provides initial findings related to program design and implementation; program participation; training and professional development; and retention. The major findings are summarized.