Every child in Navarro County is school ready and assisted to meet their full potential.

Indicator 3.2: % of 3 and 4 year olds enrolled in some type of school


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Story Behind the Curve

What are the positive factors that are contributing to you reaching your desired result?

  •  Safety: Parents recognize that enrolling their children in daycare creates less risk for maltreatment. 
  •  Education: Parents recognize the cognitive, emotional, and social benefits of enrolling thier children in daycare to prepare them for school. 
  •  Options: Parents have choices between attending an in-home daycare, childcare center, Headstart program, or PreK. We even have a Prepatory Academy in Corsicana. Families have several different options for where their children can be enrolled. 
  • Excellent childcare centers in our area: Several well rated childcare centers in the area, we also have a variety of sizes of daycares which allow families to choose between a larger daycare and smaller ones. 
  • Importance of children playing in unstructured environment with other children at a young age. Benefits include building imaginiation and social/emotional skills. 

What are the negative factors that are restricting you from reaching your desired result?

  •  Affordability and availability of childcare: Availability of low-cost childcare and centers with flexible hours to meet the needs of a variety of parents/caregivers.
  • Availability of childcare in rural areas: Most of our chilcare centers are in Corsicana leaving our outlying communities without options or with few options.
  •  Rates of enrollment: Data from 2016 shows that Navarro County has really low rates of enrollment in daycare for 3 and 4 year olds. This could be due to lack of capacity to serve the children of the community. 
  •  Childcare workforce: Lack of available workforce to staff daycares which effects availability of capacity for service. 

What populations are the most disadvantaged and what causes these disparities?

  •  Spanish-speaking families: Fewer options for families who want to enroll their spanish-speaking children. We do have Stay and Play which is a dual language daycare center. 
  •  Rural communities: Less access to daycare centers that are located in center of county. There are several outlying cities with no childcare centers or only one opiton. 
  •  BIPOC: Less access to affordable daycares located in their neighborhoods. Less representation in ownership of daycares or as workers in daycares. 

Are there foreseeable factors that will affect your work over the next few months to a year?

  •  COVID 19: Licensing boards have put a lot of restrictions on daycare practices. Daycares are finding it hard to keep up with these guidelines.
  •  COVID 19: Daycares are not able to serve as many children as they have previously. Some have expressed that they may need to close limiting our community's capacity to serve children. 
  •  COVID 19: Families may have less income to be able to spend on childcare and may keep children home more instead of sending them to daycare or school. 

What additional research is needed to better understand the factors that influence the slope of the curve and related disparities? 

  •  Disparities on enrollment in daycare across the county for minority populations
  •  What is our capacity county wide for childcare?
  •  How many licensed in-home daycare do we have and what more can we learn about the families who send their children to those homes?

Who are the partners who can help you reach your desired outcome? List partners and their roles.

  •  Residents/Families: Enroll their children in some kind of childcare at age 3 and 4
  • Healthcare providers: Educate families on the benefits of sending their children to daycare.
  •  Daycares: Promote enrollment and build capacity to educate 3 and 4 year olds.
  •  Churches: Offer more affordable childcare programs for parents throughout the week to alleviate the burden of childcare on families. 
  •  School districts: Establish Pre-K programs for their school districts at affordable rates. 
  • Business owners: They have a stake in this work becuase if their workforce doesn't have childcare they won't have workers. 
What Works

Research/Evidence-Based Practices:

  •  Establish universal free childcare for our community.
  •  Expand child care subsidies to cover more families.
  •  Offer more options for in-home childcare centers across the community.
  •  Expand PreK programs in school districts.

Low Cost/No Cost Solutions:

  •  Daycare Support Taskforce: Work on educating community on childcare options through Public Health Campaign
  •  Continuum of care: community-wide waiting list for childcare
  • Work with local centers including CCMS and in-home daycare to compare number of children who enroll before kindergarten. 

Innovative/Out-the-Box Solutions: 

  •  3D imaging tours of daycare centers to send out to prospective families
  •  Expand programs that will encourage parents to enroll their students: field trips, community gardens, STEM education, dance, gymnastics, etc. 
  •  Invest in scholarships from community partners for families to send their children to daycare following COVID 19. 
  • Expand available hours to include afternoon and short one hour options. 
  • Parent meet up groups: those who choose to home school or keep kids at home can still socialize their kids

Additional Research:

  •  What do other communities do to boost childcare enrollment?
  •  How much would universal childcare cost for our community? How do other communities help to subsidize childcare?
  • How do we get local business owners involved in this piece of our work?
  •  What are the kindergarten readiness rates of kids who did and did not attend school as 3 and 4 year olds?
What Strategy By Whom (Partners) By When
Public Health Campaign: Educate parents on their options for childcare in one easy location Daycares, Daycare Support Taskforce ongoing
Scholarships for families effected by COVID to enroll their children Growing Together, Foundations January 2021
Continuum of care: community-wide waiting list Daycares, Owners, AgriLife Extension Fall 2021
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