Errata To: Recipients of TR-538-PF/WKKF/PEW/NIEER/WCJVSF/LAUP, Early Care and Education in the Golden State: Publicly Funded Programs Serving California’s Preschool-Age Children From: RAND Corporation Publications Department Date: January 2008 Re: Corrected pages (pp. 118–121) The authors identiﬁed factual errors in the originally published document in Tables 6.3 and 6.4 on pp. 119 and 120 which aﬀects related text on pp. 118–121. The errors have no eﬀect on the inferences or conclusions from the report. The currently posted document has been corrected. In Table 6.3 on page 119, FCCH was added to the provider types listed for San Mateo. In Table 6.4 on page 120, the reimbursement tier based on environment rating scores was added for San Mateo, the reimbursement tier based on group sizes and adult-child ratios was removed from Los Angeles, and the reimbursement tier based on other program features was removed from Los Angeles and San Diego. We apologize for any inconvenience. 1 118 Table 6.2—Funding for PFA/POP Initiatives in Four Case Study Counties Funding measure Los Angeles Merced San Diego San Mateo First 5 California POP award $28.3 million over 5 years $2.4 million over 5 years $2.8 million over 5 years $4.6 million over 5 years Multi-year funding commitment from local First 5 Commission $600 million over 6 years (2004–10) $11 million over 5 years (2006–10) $30 million over 5 years (2006–10) $10 million over 3 years (2004–07) $100 million $2.4 million $5.4 million $3.7 million Funding for PFA in 2006–07 SOURCE: See Appendixes B to E. Even though the overall goal is universal access, in the initial stages, the PFA expansion sites in the four counties were selected because they represented communities with high need as indicated by, for example, a high percentage of low API schools, high rates of eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch, a high fraction of English learners, and/or low participation rates in or capacity to deliver early childhood programs. This approach was also one of the specifications of the First 5 California POP demonstration projects. Los Angeles is an interesting case with its approach for identifying 13 areas, or “hot zones,” with greatest need based on the gap between potential preschool participation and available spaces. These areas were further divided into priority tiers to target those zip codes with low API schools, a large absolute number of children not being served, and a low rate of preschool participation. In each of the four case study counties, the PFA initiatives provide funding for new or upgraded fully subsidized part-day preschool program slots in existing publicly subsidized programs (e.g., Head Start, State Preschool, General CCD), and, in some, cases private providers who receive no public subsidies may participate as well. Wrap-around care may be offered by some providers with the addition of parent fees. In all four counties, participating providers may include both center-based programs and family child care homes (see Table 6.3). The incremental nature of the preschool expansion efforts is also reflected in the number of children served. Table 6.3 reports figures for the most recent period available in each of the counties. 119 Table 6.3—Service Measures for PFA/POP Initiatives in Four Case Study Counties Service feature Initial service areas Provider types Los Angeles Merced San Diego San Mateo 34 zip codes 6 school districts 6 communities 2 school districts C, FCCH C, FCCH C, FCCH C, FCCH June 2007 2006–07 2006–07 2006–07 1,164 1,662 772 1,036 1,279 634 128 383 138 Children served Date of measurement Total (N) 8,394 Upgraded slots (N) 4,360 New slots (N) 4,034 a SOURCE: See Appendixes B to E. NOTES: C = centers, FCCH = family child care homes. a This figure is exclusive of new spaces under construction. Notably, with the exception of Los Angeles County, 75 percent or more of children are being served in upgraded slots rather than in newly created slots. In Los Angeles County, the total spaces are almost evenly divided between upgraded and new slots. The scale of the effort in Los Angeles County is also considerably larger than the other three counties. Across the four counties, the expansion efforts have generated a total of about 4,700 new spaces. A central focus of the PFA program in each of the case study counties is raising the quality of existing subsidized preschool programs and ensuring high-quality care and education in newly created slots. This was also a focus of the POP requirements as specified by First 5 California. In order to participate in the county PFA/POP program, providers in all four counties must meet minimum standards—more stringent, in some cases, than Head Start or Title 5 regulations—for program features including environment rating scores, group sizes, adult-child ratios, and staff qualifications. Given the limitations in the reimbursement system under existing programs (e.g., Head Start, State Preschool, General CCD), the county PFA and POP initiatives are implementing a tiered reimbursement system tied to program features that require more resources and are associated with high quality. As seen in Table 6.4, the program features that are tied to the reimbursement tiers include environment rating scores, group sizes, adult-child ratios, and staff qualifications. In all cases, at the highest quality level, the lead classroom teacher must have a bachelor’s degree and specialized training in child development. 120 Table 6.4—Reimbursement Features for PFA/POP Initiatives in Four Case Study Counties Reimbursement feature Los Angeles Merced San Diego San Mateo Reimbursement tiers based on Environment rating scores Group sizes and adult-child ratios Staff qualifications 3,960 – d 3,000 4,569 4,290 5,064 3,650 4,838 4,950 5,981 4,000 5,375 3,791 3,271 3,943 5,335 a Reimbursement for new nonsubsidized space ($) Entry b Advancing b Full Quality b Annualized RMR for part-day preschool-age program c SOURCE: See Appendixes B to E. a The reimbursement rates are per child for a part-day, academic-year program as of 2006-2007. The LAUP reimbursement rates are calculated as nine times the monthly reimbursement rate, exclusive of parent fees. The others are all specified as annual reimbursements. b LAUP uses different terminology for the three quality levels. Entry, Advancing, and Full Quality correspond to the LAUP 3, 4, and 5 Star levels, respectively. c Calculated as the part-time hourly RMR for preschool age children times three hours per day times 175 days per year. d Merced’s unsubsidized Entry level programs could technically apply for an $800 reimbursement, but that amount is so low that realistically unsubsidized programs must enter at the Advancing level or higher. The tiered reimbursement schedules incorporate different funding levels based on whether or not a provider is already receiving public subsidies and the level of quality achieved in the classroom. The schedules vary across the four counties, although not always in relationship to the ranking based on the cost of care (as measured by the market rates specified in the RMR). For example, Table 6.4 shows the PFA/POP reimbursement for a part-day, academic-year program that does not already receive public subsidies. This is the full reimbursement, equivalent to the SRR under the State Preschool program (equal to $3,568; see Table 5.3). The last row in Table 6.4 also shows the annualized RMR for a partday, academic-year program in each of the counties, indicating that the cost of unsubsidized care is highest in San Mateo County and lowest in Merced County (consistent with the RMRs reported in Table 5.4). However, the highest PFA/POP reimbursement rates are for Merced County, followed by San Mateo, San Diego, and then Los Angeles. Interestingly, at the Entry level, San Diego’s reimbursement rate is below that for the State Preschool SRR. In addition to the tiered reimbursement for providers, Merced and San Diego counties also employ a stipend for teachers with a particular level of education as a way to directly augment their salary. For example, San Diego provides a $1,500 121 annual stipend for a lead teacher with a Master Teacher Permit or associate degree with specialized ECE coursework (Advancing level) and a $3,000 stipend for a lead teacher with a bachelor’s degree with specialized ECE coursework (Full Quality level). For support teachers at all quality levels with an associate degree and 24 ECE units or more, the annual stipend is $1,200. The use of stipends is discretionary in Merced but frequently used, with a range of $1,000 to $15,000 depending on the salary. The use of stipends avoids the need to address issues with salary scales and also does not entail a permanent salary change, which may not be possible to sustain in the face of funding instability. The four case study counties have faced a number of challenges in the implementation of PFA. In some cases, PFA expansion has occurred at a slower pace than original plans called for, which also means spending has not kept pace with projections. This has particularly been the case in Los Angeles County, where the scale of the PFA effort is so much larger than the other counties. The composition of families that do participate has not always been what was expected. San Mateo County has found that many of the families enrolled in its PFA initiative have low incomes and therefore have not been able to afford the fees associated with full-day programs. Consequently, fewer full-day slots have been utilized than expected. In addition, fewer than expected middle- and upperincome families have enrolled in the county’s program. Each of the counties has sought to broaden the group of licensed providers participating in subsidized programs, but this objective has not readily been achieved in most cases. Merced has found it particularly challenging to incorporate private providers. In San Mateo County, no family child care homes or private providers are participating thus far. Likewise, in San Diego County, as of the 2006–07 school year, most provider settings were school districts, but the provider mix did include one faith-based provider, a nonprofit agency, and two family child care homes. Los Angeles County has made the incorporation of family child care homes a central part of its operating plan and has been more successful, with nearly 1,400 newly created spaces and 750 existing spaces operating under the LAUP umbrella. For those counties with less success on this front, barriers that preclude family child care homes and private providers from participation include program features below the required standards, the costs of technical assistance and other resources to raise their quality, requirements for fiscal accountability, a lack of incentives, and less-than-effective strategies for communication and outreach.