Newton County Child Care Needs Assessment

Directors: James Elicker, PhD, associate professor of developmental studies, Department of Child Development and Family Studies

Co-Director: Gail Johnston Ulmer, PhD, post-doctoral research associate, Center for Families

Staff: Ting Liu, graduate research assistant, data collection

Funding: Newton County Step Ahead Council, Sponsored by the Newton County Planning Council
January 1999-September 1999, $6,000

Term of Project: January 1999-September 1999

Description: Child care issues are important to both parents and employers. Each year, business and industries lose money due to lost work time from employees’ child care problems. The Newton County Step Ahead Council approached the Center for Families in April 1998 about conducting a child care needs assessment. The assessment was conducted between January and May 1999. The needs assessment was conducted using:

  1. Existing information relevant to child care needs
  2. Phone interviews with community professionals
  3. Focus group interviews with parents and child care providers
  4. Parent child care survey questionnaires

The results indicated that the demand for child care in Newton County was expected to remain over the next five years. At the same time, there was a shortage of quality child care in Newton County, as well as a limited supply of licensed child care in the county. Lack of sick care was the most common problem identified by parents. Many Newton County families used a babysitter or unlicensed child care home, but preferred to use a different form of child care. Finally, many Newton County parents were forced to miss work or leave early due to child care problems.

The child care needs we identified and our recommendations in the needs assessment provided a basis for discussion and planning of more effective child care support services in Newton County.

Download the full Newton County Child Care Needs Assessment.