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?