- Report Published -
|Summary of Previous Virginia Child Care Studies|
|Department of Social Services|
|SB 595 (Regular Session, 1998)|
|The purpose of this report is to review and summarize previous studies evaluating the quality, affordability, and accessibility of child care in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is intended to provide a succinct overview of prior studies and thereby assist in the design and implementation of the evaluation study mandated by Senate Bill 595 as passed by the 1998 General Assembly.|
This report is organized by first presenting a summary of each of the individual reports and then discussing common findings addressed in two or more of the previous reports. The Virginia Department of Social Services identified reports included in this summary. Two of the previous reports are research studies conducted by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC). Two reports were studies conducted by child advocacy groups analyzing data collected by others (including that collected by JLARC). One report was prepared at the request of the Virginia Council on Child Day Care and Early Childhood Programs and discusses findings of the Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts regarding procurement procedures. The sixth report is a policy analysis paper drawing upon findings reported in the Virginia Council on Child Day Care and Early Childhood Programs report.
Findings common to two or more reports include:
• Both parents and the Commonwealth have a role in promoting quality child care, but conclusions about the specific role each should play differed among the various reports.
• The formulation of child care policy in Virginia should be an open process, informed by public debate.
• Regulation of child care should be uniform and applied in such a manner as to ensure children are adequately protected, parental choice is maintained, and availability and affordability of care is not compromised.
• Virginia's child care regulations for provider training and staff-child ratios are neither the most nor the least stringent in comparison to other states, but are below those suggested by some research findings.
• Licensing staff needs to be increased to ensure all facilities receive the mandatory inspections.
• Shortages of specific types of child care exist in Virginia.
• Changes in the administration of child care subsidy programs are needed to ensure low-income families receive the assistance they need to continue working.
• The administration of child care subsidy programs should ensure parental choice in child care arrangements for their children.