In 2016, Reinvestment Fund conducted a study of the supply of and demand for early childhood education (ECE) in Passaic County, NJ. Adapting a methodology developed for a 2014 study of child care in Philadelphia, the study results for Passaic County, NJ suggest that over half of all ECE (57%) is provided in state licensed childcare centers, and 27% is provided in high-quality centers (i.e., centers with National Association for the Education of Youth Children (NAEYC) accreditation, within a Head Start Program, or operated by a Passaic County public school district).
With support from the Nicholson Foundation and Taub Foundation, Reinvestment Fund created an interactive web-based tool to present the results of this analysis, accessible at www.passaiccountychildcaremap.org. This tool shows the supply of and demand for ECE and identifies where gaps in total and high-quality ECE exist throughout the county.
With this information, funders, practitioners, and ECE advocates can make data-informed decisions about where resources and interventions are needed most. In Philadelphia, similar analyses informed the creation of a Fund for Quality, which provides funding support to create high-quality ECE options in underserved areas.