Study Released On The State Of Child Care In Williamson County

Posted in Education, Take Action, Williamson County at 10:29 am by wcnews

Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation released this study today, A Regional Audit of Williamson County’s Early Childhood Education and Development Infrastructure [.PDF], calling it a “first of its kind in the area”. From the press release:

Prepared by Dr. John Gasko of the Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition, the leading statewide policy and advocacy organization on early childhood issues, the study examines the availability and affordability of child care, as well as the amount and level of high quality child care, throughout Williamson County. It presents data-rich information pertaining to Williamson County’s early childhood education and development infrastructure (including public school pre-kindergarten, federal Head Start, and private and non-profit child care programs, ages birth to five).

Here are some of the studies findings, from the highlights [.PDF]:

  • Child poverty in Williamson County is steadily increasing, and, among all under 18s, children between 0 and 5 are the most likely to live in poverty;
  • The number of vulnerable children seeking Medicaid and CHIP health coverage has dramatically increased in the last eight years;
  • There are insufficient spaces for children whose families seek child care programs in Williamson County, especially those that accommodate the holistic needs of vulnerable children; and
  • Very few child care sites in the county (less than one half of 1%) are NAEYC accredited, a benchmark of high quality early childhood education.

Other insights include…

  • An increasing number of children are growing up in single-parent households
  • Childbirths to women that receive minimal prenatal care is on the rise

They then go on to say, ““This study clearly evidences an opportunity to make a significant and positive impact for children and families in our county.”

We encourage everyone to read the entire study, it has a wealth of information about Williamson County. This is part of Williamson County’s struggle with becoming a more populous county. Changing from a less populated rural county to a larger more urban county presents not only challenges, but opportunities, as the study points out.

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