National Survey of Early Care and Education

The National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) is a nationally representative study that characterizes the use and availability of early care and education (ECE) in the United States. A new round of the NSECE recently took place in 2019 to help shed light on how the ECE landscape has changed since the initial fielding of the study. In 2012, the NSECE gathered information from households with young children, center-based and home-based providers, and individuals working with children in center-based classrooms in order to assemble the first comprehensive national portrait of ECE use and availability since the early 1990’s. The NSECE is funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The 2019 NSECE

Because multiple policy and programmatic changes affecting the supply and quality of ECE had been implemented since the 2012 NSECE, a new data collection effort took place to gather updated information. These data will help to answer several questions including:

  • How do the characteristics of ECE providers compare to what was observed in 2012? Where and how has the supply of ECE services changed?
  • How well is the availability of child care and early education programs meeting the needs of parents and children today?
  • What are the characteristics of the ECE workforce?
  • How do providers blend funding from different sources to cover the costs of serving children from households of different incomes?
  • What motivates providers to provide early care and education?

The 2019 NSECE followed a similar design to the 2012 study, including surveying households with young children, center-based providers, home-based providers, and staff working in center-based classrooms.

Data collection for the NSECE 2019 ended in July 2019. Preliminary data files will be released beginning in summer 2020 and are available through links on this website. Initial findings from the study will be released in late summer 2020.

To stay up to date with what’s happening with the NSECE, follow our blog here.extlink

The 2012 NSECE

The 2012 NSECE included a set of four integrated, nationally representative surveys. These were surveys of: 1) households with children under age 13; 2) home-based providers of ECE; 3) center-based providers of ECE; and 4) the center-based provider workforce. Data was collected from more than 10,000 providers and 11,600 households to help better understand how well families’ needs and preferences aligned with providers’ offerings and constraints. The study used a provider-cluster approach for sampling all four surveys from the same small geographic areas. This approach allowed the survey to document the interaction of the supply of and demand for early care and education where it occurs—in local communities—while simultaneously capturing data that efficiently construct national estimates. Because the experiences of low-income families are of special interest in public policy addressing ECE and school-age care, the NSECE oversampled low-income areas.

Data from the 2012 NSECE have been available since 2014. Prior to this, policy-makers and practitioners at all levels had been trying to improve the current system of early care and education without full information—essentially, treating the patient without being able to examine him/her. Data collected from NSECE are providing the essential information for an accurate diagnosis.

A detailed discussion of 2012 NSECE methodology is currently available here.extlink

Recent Publications:

National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team (2017). Snapshot: Parent Work Schedules in Households with Young Children. OPRE Report No. 2017-48, Washington DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/opre/resource/parent-work-schedules-in-households-with-young-children

National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team. (2016). Early Care and Education Usage and Households’ Out-of-pocket Costs: Tabulations from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE). OPRE Report #2016-09, Washington DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://www.researchconnections.org/childcare/resources/32839/pdf

National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team. (2016). Households’ Geographic Access to Center-based Early Care and Education: Estimates and Methodology from the National Survey of Early Care and Education. OPRE Report # 2016-08, Washington DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://www.researchconnections.org/childcare/resources/32106/pdf

National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team (2016). Examining Child Care Subsidy Receipt: An Analysis of Matched NSECE and Illinois Administrative Data. OPRE Report #2016-12, Washington DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://www.researchconnections.org/childcare/resources/31561/pdf

National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team (2016). Characteristics of Home-based Early Care and Education Providers: Initial Findings from the National Survey of Early Care and Education. OPRE Report #2016-13, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://www.researchconnections.org/childcare/resources/31515/pdf

National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team (2016). Fact Sheet: How Far Are Early Care and Education Arrangements from Children’s Homes? OPRE Report No. 2016-10, Washington DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/distance_to_ece_factsheet_111716_b508.pdf

Tout, K., Starr, R., Wenner, J. & Hilty, R. (2016). Measures used in quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) validation studies. OPRE Research Brief #2016-110. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/cceepra_measures_in_qris_validation_studies_1222_508.pdf

National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team (2015). Measuring Predictors of Quality in Early Care and Education Settings in the National Survey of Early Care and Education. OPRE Report #2015-93, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/measuring-predictors-of-quality-in-early-care-and-education-settings-in-the-national-survey-of-early-care-and-education

National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team (2015). Prices Charged in Early Care and Education: Initial Findings from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE). OPRE Report #2015-45, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/prices-charged-early-care-and-education-initial-findings-national-survey-early-care-education-nsece

National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team (2015). Fact Sheet: Provision of Early Care and Education during Non-Standard Hours. (OPRE Report No. 2015-44). Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/fact-sheet-provision-of-early-care-and-education-non-standard-hours

National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team (2015). Fact Sheet: Who is Providing Home-Based Early Care and Education? OPRE Report No. 2015-43, Washington DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/fact-sheet-who-is-providing-home-based-early-care-and-education

National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team (2014). Characteristics of Center-based Early Care and Education Programs: Initial Findings from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE). OPRE Report #2014-73a, Washington DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/characteristics-of-center-based-early-care-and-education-programs-initial-findings-from-the-national-survey-of-earlyv

National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team. (2014). Household search for and perceptions of early care and education: Initial findings from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) (OPRE Report No. 2014-55a). Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/household-search-for-and-perceptions-of-early-care-and-education-initial-findings-from-the-national-survey

National Survey of Early Care and Education Team. (2013). Number and Characteristics of Early Care and Education (ECE) Teachers and Caregivers: Initial Findings from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE). OPRE Report #2013-38, Washington DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/number-and-characteristics-of-early-care-and-education-ece-teachers-and

National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team. (2013). National Survey of Early Care and Education: Summary Data Collection and Sampling Methodology. OPRE Report #2013-46, Washington DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/nsece_summarymethodology_toopre_102913.pdf

Bowman, M., Datta, A.R., & Yan, T. (2010). Design Phase of the National Study of Child Care Supply and Demand (NSCCSD): Cognitive Interview Findings Report for Demand Questionnaire. Chicago: NORC at the University of Chicago. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/cog_interview_demand.pdf

Bowman, M., Datta, A. R., & Yan, T. (2010). Design Phase of the National Study of Child Care Supply and Demand (NSCCSD): Final Recommendations for the Demand Questionnaire. Chicago: NORC at the University of Chicago. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/final_demand.pdf

Bowman, M., & Datta, A. R. (2010). Design Phase of the National Study of Child Care Supply and Demand (NSCCSD): Cognitive Interview Findings Report for Home-based Provider Questionnaire. Chicago: NORC at the University of Chicago. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/cog_interview_home.pdf

Datta, A. R., & Bowman, M., (2010). Design Phase of the National Study of Child Care Supply and Demand (NSCCSD): Cognitive Interview Findings Report for Center-based Provider Questionnaire. Chicago: NORC at the University of Chicago. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/cog_interview_center.pdf

Datta, A. R., Goerge, R., & Witte, A. (2010). Design Phase of the National Study of Child Care Supply and Demand (NSCCSD): Final Recommendations for the Center-based Provider Questionnaire. Chicago: NORC at the University of Chicago. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/final_center.pdf

Datta, A. R., Goerge, R., & Witte, A. (2010). Design Phase of the National Study of Child Care Supply and Demand (NSCCSD): Final Recommendations for the Home-based Provider Questionnaire. Chicago: NORC at the University of Chicago. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/final_homebased.pdf

Datta, A. R., Goerge, R., & Yan, T. (2010). Design Phase of the National Study of Child Care Supply and Demand (NSCCSD): Final Report. Chicago: NORC at the University of Chicago. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/nsccsd_final.pdf

Wolter, K., Bowman, M., Datta, A. R., Goerge, R., Jr., V. W., & Yan, T. (2010). Design Phase of the National Study of Child Care Supply and Demand (NSCCSD): Revised Sampling Report and Addendum. Chicago: NORC at the University of Chicago. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/revised_sampling.pdf

Bowman, M., Connelly, J., Datta, A. R., Guiltinan, S., & Yan, T. (2009). Design Phase of the National Study of Child Care Supply and Demand (NSCCSD): Feasibility Test Report. Chicago: NORC at the University of Chicago. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/feasibility_test.pdf

Guzman, L., Forry, N., Rivers, A., Kuhfeld, M., Wandner, L., Atienza, A., …Broege, N. (2009). Design Phase: National Study of Child Care Supply and Demand 2010 Compendium of Measures, Volume 1: Supply-Side Measures. Chicago: NORC at the University of Chicago. Available at: http://www.norc.org/PDFs/NSECE/NSECE%20Compendium_Vol%201%20Supply.pdf

Guzman, L., Forry, N., Rivers, A., Kuhfeld, M., Wandner, L., Atienza, A., …Broege, N. (2009). Design Phase: National Study of Child Care Supply and Demand 2010 Compendium of Measures, Volume 2: Demand-Side Measures. Chicago: NORC at the University of Chicago. Available at: http://www.norc.org/PDFs/NSECE/NSECE%20Compendium_Vol%202%20Demand.pdf

Guzman, L., Forry, N., Zaslow, M., Kinukawa, A., Rivers, A., Witte, A., & Weber, B. (2009). Design Phase: National Study of Child Care Supply and Demand -2010. Chicago: NORC at the University of Chicago. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/literature_review.pdf

Data Files


Coming Soon!

WORKING WITH 2012 NSECE DATA


Datasets from the 2012 NSECE are available in the Child & Family Data Archiveextlink

Questions about working with 2012 NSECE data can be directed to nsece@norc.org.

Contact the NSECE project team


  • nsece-prov@norc.org
  • NSECE Design Phase Reports at the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation

    NSECE Reports at the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluationextlink

    2012 NSECE Analytic Reports at the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation

    NSECE Reports at the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluationextlink

    2012 NSECE Data Files and Documentation

    NSECE, 2012 Dataextlink

    NSECE TEAM


    A. Rupa Datta
    Project Director
    datta-rupa@norc.org

    NSECE Project Descriptions and Team Members

    Infographics and Visualizations


     

     

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