This project addresses critical gaps in knowledge about what quality looks like in nontraditional hour (NTH) child care, the experiences of families who search for and use NTH child care, the lived experiences of providers who offer care during these hours, and the types of supports needed to maintain, sustain, and grow its supply. The knowledge gathered will provide IDHS and the field with new knowledge to inform policy development aimed at building supply and increasing equitable access, enhancing quality, and sustaining a thriving NTH workforce.
Equitable access to high-quality child care includes care that is responsive to the work schedules and resource needs of families and the developmental needs of children. Significant proportions of low-income families work nontraditional hours (NTH), yet the early care and education field has focused almost exclusively on child care provision during daytime, weekday hours with limited attention to quality, supply, and workforce experiences during NTH. Correcting this omission is an equity issue, especially given that NTH child care is both provided and used disproportionately by low-income populations of color.
This four-year project will implement a sequenced set of research activities to yield new knowledge about the core pillars of nontraditional hour child care:
This research will inform IDHS on policy development around increasing the availability of high-quality nontraditional hour child care, a top priority for the state and a focus of new legislation. The research will also inform a national audience of policymakers, program administrators, and practitioners around how to best implement, support, and sustain nontraditional hour child care options that equitably meet the needs and strengths of families, children, and providers.
Activities will include:
The INCCS project is a collaboration between Erikson Institute’s Home-Based Child Care Research group, the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice, and Illinois Action for Children. This project is supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award (Grant #: 90YE0285) totaling $1,600,000 with 100 percent funded by ACF/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACF/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit the ACF website, Administrative and National Policy Requirements.
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Literature review on quality in nontraditional hour child care that may be linked to positive outcomes for children and families.
University of Chicago Crown
Review on supply and demand of nontraditional hour child care.