Monday, October 26, 2015

DEL Releases Results of 2014 Licensed Child Care Survey

The Department of Early Learning and the University of Washington did a survey on licensed child care in Washington state and these were some of the interesting results:

Findings about the Child Care Population:

An estimated 157,047 children in Washington were enrolled in licensed child care in the spring of 2014. About 85 percent of these children were in child care centers and the remaining 15 percent were in licensed family homes.
Information from the child care survey was combined with the population data from Washington’s Office of Financial Management to estimate the proportion of children of various ages in licensed care at the time of the child care surveys. Roughly 14 percent of children in Washington were estimated to be in care, with the proportions of children in care varying substantially by age group. Just over 9 percent of infants, 21 percent of toddlers, 26 percent of preschoolers, 14 percent of kindergartners and 7 percent of school‐age children were estimated to be in licensed care at the time of the survey in 2014.

Findings about Child Care Centers:

  • The total capacity for centers was 131,846 children. A total of 133,059 children were cared for in centers. The average capacity for centers was 67 children.
  • The number of vacancies for centers was 17,721. Among centers with at least one vacancy, the average vacancy rate was 13.44 percent.
  • Average hourly wage for employees at child care centers was $10.67 for assistants,
  • $12.82 for teachers, $15.48 for supervisors, and $17.08 for directors.
  • Staff turnover rates varied among different staff positions. The proportion of assistants newly hired was about 1.8 the proportion for teachers, which was 23 percent. Eleven percent of supervisors were newly hired compared to 12 percent of directors newly hired after September 1, 2013.
  • Overall, the staff turnover rates of assistants, teachers and supervisors were higher than those of 2012.
  • Less than 7 percent of survey participants from centers indicated they were uncomfortable calling their licensors.
  • Thirty‐five percent of center participants reported they received timely information on changes to licensing policies; 54 percent agreed that the licensor clearly explained the reasons behind the licensing regulations at the most recent licensing visit; and 60 percent believed that the licensor clearly explained what the center needed to do to comply with regulations.

Findings about Licensed Family Home Child Care:

  • In 2014, 66.7 percent of family homes received assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program.
  • More than a half (51.8 percent) of participants from family homes reported having liability insurance.
  • Forty‐three percent of family home providers had a high school diploma or GED. Twenty‐two percent of family home owners reported having an associate degree in child development or a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential; 10 percent had a Bachelor’s degree, and 2 percent had either a Master’s or Doctorate degree.
  • On average, a licensed family home provider’s gross income was $37,203. For 54 percent of family home providers, child care earnings were their households’ primary source of income; their average income ($42,826) was considerably higher than family home providers with other income sources ($30,425).
  • Overall family home participants had positive experiences with their licensors and said they had no hesitation in calling their licensors (44 percent), reported they received timely information on licensing policy changes (29 percent) and clear explanations (37 percent) and suggestions from their licensors (49 percent). At the same time, 48 percent of participants didn’t feel that they were regarded as knowledgeable about and a professional in, the field of child care by their licensors.

Findings about Special Needs Care:

  • At the time of the survey, 57 percent of centers and 20.4 percent of family homes either were providing or had provided care for children with special needs at the time of the survey. 22.7 percent of centers that weren’t providing special needs care had provided care for children with special needs previously.
  • Six percent of centers and 3.3 percent of family homes applied for the special needs rate since January 1, 2014. Four percent of centers and 1.4 percent of homes received special need rate. Two percent of centers and 3 percent of homes requested a rate above the special needs rate since January 1, 2014, and 1.4 percent of centers and 1.8 percent of homes received a rate above the special need rate.

Findings about Children with Subsidized Child Care:

  • In 2014, an estimated 40,718 children received subsidizes for licensed child care in Washington: 9,127 children in licensed family homes, representing 38 percent of all children in family homes; and 31,591 children in child care centers, representing 24 percent of all children in centers.
  • Seventy‐nine percent of centers and 62 percent of family homes cared for children with child care subsidies.
  • Thirty‐eight percent of children in family homes and about 24 percent of children in centers received subsidized child care. On average, a family home cared for 3.85 children receiving subsidized child care, and centers cared for 22.19 children with subsidized child care over the last typical week of operation.

To read the entire survey, go here: 2014 Licensed Child Care Survey.

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