The purpose of the project (Minnesota Child Care Policy Research Partnership: A Research Partnership to Advance Equitable Access to Early Care and Education in Minnesota) is to address the challenges of access to early care and education (ECE) in Minnesota through an established research partnership between the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Child Trends, and the University of Minnesota. The project aims to support children and families in Minnesota by addressing pressing questions that policymakers and researchers have related to equitable access to ECE and improving stakeholders’ understanding of the effectiveness of policies and practices that support access.

The Minnesota Child Care Policy Research Partnership addresses the challenges of advancing equitable access to early care and education (ECE) in Minnesota. The partnership between Child Trends, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and the University of Minnesota aims to support children and families by addressing pressing questions that policymakers and researchers have about the effectiveness of policies and practices to support ECE access.

The partnership will conduct studies to understand (i) changes in the supply of ECE including the decline in licensed family child care and how supply is influenced by polices, regulation and funding, (ii) the effectiveness of activities designed to engage and support professional development among family child care providers and center-based providers from different geographical areas and different cultural communities and (iii) the effectiveness of policies and practices in positively shaping the way families of different backgrounds navigate and use the available information about quality, use subsidies and manage their ECE costs, and perceive their experiences using ECE. Multiple sources of data (administrative, web analytics, surveys), innovative participatory data collection strategies and rigorous analysis techniques will produce findings that are actionable, relevant and timely.

Resources:

Project Description

Understanding the Impact of the Peacetime Emergency Grants

Fact Sheets:

The series of fact sheets includes findings from a survey of child care providers in Minnesota who applied for Peacetime Emergency Child Care grants. The fact sheets highlight findings about providers’ experiences receiving or not receiving the grants, as well as their experiences related to a number of COVID-19 challenges.

Financial impact

Financial impact of Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grant funds describes the financial impact of the PECC Grant funds on child care providers who received the grants. It includes information about how providers used the funds, as well as providers’ perceptions of whether the grant helped them stay open and serve more children.

Provider financial challenges and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic (Updated 3/31/2021) highlights providers’ financial challenges and personal well-being during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, it describes the increased costs of doing business, the average amount of financial loss experienced, and how providers scored on the GAD-7 (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7) compared to the general population in 2019.

Grants reduce risk of program closures  (Updated 2/23/2021) reports on how the PECC Grant funds reduced the risk of program closures during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and on the risk of closure for non-recipients, the factors that influenced closures, and the average number of days that programs closed.

Child care provider practices

Providers’ confidence in practices related to COVID-19 describes providers’ confidence in implementing practices related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as social distancing strategies, the management of mask use by staff and older children, and hand washing practices. It also includes information about changes providers have made to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

COVID-19 and child care: Attendance and communication with families focuses on the ways in which providers adapted their programs during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. It reports on the average daily attendance compared to the number of children enrolled during the COVID-19 pandemic, on the percentage of providers who changed communication methods with families, and on which pandemic-related questions families discussed with providers.

Child care providers participate in professional development during COVID-19 pandemic reports on providers’ use of virtual professional development trainings and the challenges experienced in accessing professional development. It also includes information about professional development activities in which providers engaged, the percentage of center-based directors and family child care providers who have completed virtual professional development, and the types of barriers that providers experienced with virtual professional development.

PECC Grant applicants and non-applicants

Application patterns for the Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grant summarizes application patterns and the characteristics of providers who applied (and who did not apply) for the PECC Grant. It reports on the percentage of Parent Aware-rated and unrated center-based and family child care providers who applied at least once and on the percentage of providers who stopped applying after the first or second round of PECC Grants.

Characteristics of family child care applicants and non-applicants focuses on the characteristics of family child care (FCC) applicants and non-applicants of the PECC Grant. It also includes information on FCC provider willingness to serve children enrolled in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and on the percentage of FCC providers who applied for the grant based on their Child Care Aware district, license type capacity, and race.

Characteristics of rural & urban family child care grant applicants highlights the characteristics of rural and urban licensed family child care (FCC) providers in Minnesota. It examines the differences between rural and urban family child care providers in their likelihood to apply for the grant, what they chose to use the grant funds for, whether the grant helped them stay open, and the exit rate for FCC providers who closed after March 2020.

Characteristics of center-based applicants and non-applicants reports the characteristics of center-based applicants and non-applicants of the PECC Grant, such as the percentage of providers who applied for the grant based on their Child Care Aware district, their average child capacity, and the number of years providers have held a child care license. It also describes providers’ willingness to serve children enrolled in CCAP.

Characteristics of rural & urban child care center grant applicants describes the characteristics of rural and urban licensed, center-based child care providers in Minnesota. It showcases the differences between rural and urban centers in their use of grant funds, the average financial loss per slotted licensed seat, and the exit rate for providers who closed in 2020. Additionally, it includes data on the differences in rural centers’ average capacity for applicants versus non-applicants.

Funder:

Partners:

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Minnesota Department of Human Services

Staff:

Principal Investigators: Kathryn Tout and Elizabeth Davis, University of Minnesota

Project Director: Jennifer Cleveland

Project Manager: Jennifer Cleveland, Ashley Hirilall, and Jenna Castillo

February 2020