Analyzing Access with Child Care and Early Education Data

Research BriefEarly ChildhoodMar 7 2023

Data-informed policy can support leaders in promoting equitable access to CCEE in a way that reflect the needs, preferences, and constraints of families. Using already available data, CCEE leaders and their teams can examine access to CCEE in a multi-dimensional way by capturing whether the available CCEE options require only reasonable effort for families to access, are affordable, support child development, and meet parents’ needs (see Figure 1).a Access to CCEE should also consider equity, or the ability of CCEE programs to serve families who may face systemic barriers in securing services. This product identifies potential data sources for examining CCEE access and strategies for layering datasets to answer key questions.

Key Highlights

  • Applying a multi-dimensional definition of access to the analysis and interpretation of child care and early education (CCEE) data can provide a more holistic picture of families’ needs, preferences, and constraints in accessing CCEE for their children.
  • Local, state, and federal CCEE datasets may be used, either singly or in combination, to examine and track progress toward improving equitable access to CCEE.

This brief is part of the Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis (CCEEPRA) project. CCEEPRA supports policy and program planning and decision-making with rigorous, research-based information.


a For more information on this access definition, refer to the Access Guidebook or a summary provided in a related research highlight, Defining and Measuring Access to Child Care and Early Education with Families in Mind.