Evaluation of Indiana Child Care Financing Initiative

Director: Douglas Powell, PhD, professor and head, Department of Child Development and Family Studies

Staff: Amanda Wilcox-Herzog, coordinator
Fiona Innes, graduate research assistant

Funding: Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, $108,797

Term of Project: October 1997-September 1999

Description: This project evaluated the Indiana Child Care Financing Initiative, an innovative statewide effort to build public and corporate awareness of community child care needs; build public/private partnerships to meet local child care needs; expand licensed child care capacity; increase the number of credentialed providers; and reduce high rates of turnover among child care professionals. The design of the symposium emphasized local control and decision-making as part of a general movement toward devolution in human service policies.

Evaluation: The evaluation addressed two major sets of questions:

  1. What are the contributions of the Indiana Child Care Financing Initiative to (1) increases in the capacity of licensed center and family child care facilities, the number of new child care slots, and the number of new providers serving children; (2) new efforts to increase public and corporate awareness of child care needs and quality; and (3) improvements in the local infrastructure for child care (e.g., establishment of a child care fund or training systems for providers)?
  2. In what ways do private/public partnerships engage in local planning processes that result in expanded and enhanced child care quality in a community: (1) What are the guiding principles and key practices of establishing successful partnerships at the local level regarding child care issues; (2) How is the private sector participation in the local planning process initiated and sustained over time; and (3) What major substantive issues do local task forces address, and how do local child care conditions and community resources contribute to the planning process and its outcomes?

A report on the first set of questions (pdf) was released in March 1999 at the Governor’s Conference on Early Childhood. A report on the stages of local partnerships (second set of questions) was released the following October.