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As California’s elementary schools reopen after prolonged physical closure due to COVID-19, attention to healing the school community will be essential. Although there is wide variation in the timing and formats with which schools plan to reopen, it is clear that when students reenter school buildings they will be eager to reconnect with friends and teachers. Because elementary school-aged children learn and grow through play, recess is an ideal time to support healing and to prepare students to return to the classroom ready to learn. When students are allowed to reenter school buildings...
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The use of the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) to improve early childhood education program quality is based in part on assumptions that the quality of programs can be measured and that quality ratings are associated with meaningful differences in learning outcomes for children. This report reviews all of the state QRIS validation studies that examined associations between individual rating elements and child outcomes as well as other research that exists on four elements of the California QRIS, referred to as Quality Counts California: teacher qualifications, program environment...
A Summary of the PACE Policy Research Panel
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More than 725,000 of California’s K-12 students qualified for special education services in 2018-19, but they entered a system that is often ill-equipped to serve them. This brief summarizes the findings from the PACE Policy Research Panel on Special Education: Organizing Schools to Serve Students with Disabilities in California. We find opportunities for improvement in early screening, identification, and intervention; transitions into and out of special education services; educator preparation and ongoing support; and availability of mental and physical health services. Comprehensive...
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Only about 10 percent of eligible infants and toddlers with developmental delays nationwide receive early intervention services, which are widely agreed to reduce delays and lessen the adverse effects of risk factors and disabilities on learning and development. California serves fewer children than the national average. Challenges arise from spotty screening; tenuous linkages to referral and evaluation; and the intricacies of crossing multiple agencies—sometimes without knowledge of English—for families. In Massachusetts, a unified early childhood data system and robust interagency linkages...
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California continues to fall below national averages in identifying and serving infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with developmental disabilities. The transition between infant/toddler services, administered by the Department of Developmental Services, and preschool services for 3- to 5-year-olds, administered by the Department of Education, is fraught with several factors that hinder progress. The process lacks, among other things, a systematic screening and child tracking system; a data monitoring system for tracking progress of children; interagency and policy coordination; and...
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This brief identifies the steps necessary to realize an integrated system of care, reviews two current approaches, and makes recommendations—including specifying policy reforms that would promote interagency collaboration, integration, service delivery, and improved outcomes for California’s children, both with and without disabilities. As a full commitment from the state administration is necessary to realize the proposed solutions at scale, this brief recommends the formation of a statewide interagency leadership council that has legitimacy, decision-making authority, and accountability...
Views from the 2020 PACE/USC Rossier Poll
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In the run-up to 2020 elections, where do California voters stand on key education policy issues? This report examines findings and trends from the 2020 PACE/USC Rossier poll. Key findings include rising pessimism about California education and elected officials, continued concern about gun violence in schools and college affordability, and negative opinions about higher education. However, there is substantial support for increased spending, especially on teacher salaries.

A Progress Report One Year After Getting Down to Facts II
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The 2018 Getting Down to Facts II research project drew attention to California’s continued need to focus on the achievement gap, strengthen the capacity of educators in support of continuous improvement, and attend to both the adequacy and stability of funding for schools. Based on the nature of the issues and the progress made in 2019, some clear next steps deserve attention as 2020 unfolds.

Challenges and Opportunities in California
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This PACE study found the depth and strength of California districts’ preK–3 alignment efforts to vary considerably. As preK–3 alignment is not an explicit state priority, districts do not feel obligated to focus on it in the face of many other demands. Divergent beliefs among districts about the role and purpose of preschool can enhance or inhibit alignment efforts, as can the formal roles of district preK directors and elementary principals who have preKs on their campuses. Different licensing requirements for preK and elementary teachers as well as the complicated web of regulations...
Part II
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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...
Part I–Preliminary Figures
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California's childcare system has long been comprised of a vast and vibrant collec­tion of service providers, community organizations, and activists. Decentralization and diversity represent rich strengths within the childcare community. But this decentralized history also has resulted in limited planning capacity in Sacramento and a paucity of sound data on the supply of, and the rise in family demand for, childcare. Never has the need been greater for solid data on the supply of and demand for childcare—indicators that are useful to local and state-level planners and policymakers. Parents'...
How Do Parents Adjust to Scarce Options in Santa Clara County?
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In winter 1998, the PACE research center began a phone survey of low-income and blue-collar parents. Most were mothers who had signed up on one of three child­care waiting lists maintained by different agencies within Santa Clara County. This survey was conducted at the request of the county's Social Services Agency (SSA). PACE's immediate aim was to help the agency simplify and streamline the fragmented process by which parents attempt to find childcare. This mandate is contained within the state's welfare reform legislation that was approved by the legislature and governor in 1997. In...
Variation by Geographic Location, Maternal Characteristics, and Family Structure
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More than half of all U.S. infants and toddlers spend at least 20 hours per week in the care of a nonparent adult. This article uses survival analysis to identify which families are most likely to place their child in care, and the ages when these choices are made. Using data from a national probability sample of 2,614 households, the median age at first placement is 33 months, but age varies by geographic region, mother's employment status during pregnancy, mother's education level, and family structure (one vs. two parents, mother's age at first birth, and number of siblings). Controlling...
California Families Face Gaps in Preschool and Child Care Availability
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This report details stark inequities in how preschool and childcare opportunities are distributed among four California counties, across communities situated within these counties, and among the state's 200 localities with the most families receiving welfare benefits. Despite spending $1.2 billion each year on preschool and childcare programs, no single state agency has been able to assess the overall supply of these programs or the distribution of supply. Over half of California's 3.3 million preschool-age children (age 0–5 years) live in households with a working mother. Half these...
The Influence of Household Support, Ethnicity, and Parental Practices
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Accumulating evidence shows that young children benefit develop­mentally by participating in quality childcare centers and preschools. But we know little about which family characteristics and home practices influence parents' selection of a center-based program. This article reports on the influence of the family's social-structural attributes, ethnicity, and parental practices on the likelihood of selecting a center-based program, after taking into account economic characteristics. The odds that parents enroll their child in a center-based program are greatest when mothers are more highly...
Child Care and Development Services for Children and Families: Phase III Final Report, Part 2
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Phase III was designed to further analyze the preliminary recommendations and to utilize the assistance of childcare and development community to re­design childcare and development policy. Professional judgment and experience was sought from representatives from the three lead agencies and the childcare and development field. For six of the nine tasks included in the project, work groups were assembled to discuss new proposals and ideas for improving services within the state. Over 80 people spent thousands of hours contributing their experience and expertise to these efforts. Three...
Child Care and Development Services for Children and Families: Phase III Final Report, Part 1
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Phase III was designed to further analyze the preliminary recommendations and to utilize the assistance of childcare and development community to re­design childcare and development policy. Professional judgment and experience was sought from representatives from the three lead agencies and the childcare and development field. For six of the nine tasks included in the project, work groups were assembled to discuss new proposals and ideas for improving services within the state. Over 80 people spent thousands of hours contributing their experience and expertise to these efforts. Three...

California's History in Child Care and Development
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Another new curriculum manual is Kids' Time: A School­ Age Care Program Guide, which grew out of discussions at a national conference on Block Grant funding about the lack of materials on school-age childcare, an expanding field for latchkey youngsters. Other widely-recognized materials include Just Kids: A Practical Guide for Working with Children Prenatally Substance-Exposed, Preparing for Mass Disasters, and A Guide for Training and Recruiting Child Care Providers to Serve Young Children with Disabilities. Reducing Exceptional Stress and Trauma, a curriculum guide and training manual on...
Child Care and Development Services for Children and Families: Phase II Final Report Executive Summary
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The Phase II final report of the California Cares Project undertaken by PACE for the California Department of Education (CDE), California Department of Social Services (CDSS ), and the Office of Child Development and Education, cul­minates the research and conceptual activi­ties carried out in Phase II of the California Cares Project. In 1992, the California legislature moved to bring more unity to childcare and development services in the state. It enacted AB 2184, which called for an investigation into the feasibility of con­solidating all childcare and development programs in hopes of...
Child Care and Development Services for Children and Families: Phase I Final Report
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PACE was selected to conduct this study under an interagency agreement with the California Depart­ment of Education, California Department of Social Services, and the Governor's Office of Child Devel­opment and Education. PACE's task is to analyze the issues and options for improving California's childcare system—using the task force's definition of "seamlessness" as the goal and its seven principles as guideposts—with a particular focus on the relationship among access, quality, and funding. Phase I of the study includes analyses of issues surrounding childcare; descriptions of childcare and...
Editors' Introduction
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This issue of Education and Urban Society was devoted to the topic of integrated children's services. More specifically, most of the articles in the volume centered on school-linked services. The concept underlying school­-linked services is a rather simple one: The school becomes the "hub," or focal point, of a broad range of child- and family-oriented social services. Schools do not assume primary responsibility for these additional services, but act as the organizational touchpoint to make services available, accessible, meaningful, and appropriate for children and their families. The...
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In December 1992, 25 people gathered in a conference room in Sacramento, California. Each individual attending the meeting represented a different children's advocacy group. Some were concerned particularly about preschoolers and child care arrangements; for others, professional interests revolved around children's health issues. Still others focused their efforts on child nutrition or elementary education programs. These people met in Sacramento as members of a state-appointed task force to design the implementation strategy for a new law which all of their organizations had supported in its...
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After taking a back seat to education reform pro­grams during the 1980s, school finance is again in the forefront. With the re­cent sweeping state supreme court deci­sions overturning school finance struc­tures in Kentucky, New Jersey, and Tex­as, and with active or planned cases in 23 additional states, education finance liti­gation, fiscal inequities, and school fi­nance reform have rebounded to high places on state education policy agendas. This article discusses the changing contours of school finance through the 1970s and 1980s and outlines the key is­sues in school finance for the 1990s...
Overcoming Barriers, Creating New Opportunities
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Childhood is changing. More chil­dren are unhealthy—physically and mentally. More children suffer from substance abuse and child abuse, from inadequate child care, and from family disorganization. More and more students from single­ parent families and from minority and non-English­ speaking backgrounds are entering the public schools that have never done a good job of meeting the needs of non-middle-class, nonwhite, non-English-speaking children. School leaders must understand how chil­dren's educational prospects are affected by their daily lives. Childhood is changing, and schools must...