Are you wondering why the NSECE is contacting states about lists of providers?
One of the initial critical steps in preparing for the proposed 2019 NSECE data collection effort is to build the sampling frame from which we would randomly select providers of various kinds to participate in the survey. This frame would include all types of non-parental care and education experiences available for children not yet in kindergarten, spanning home-based care, traditional pre-school, school-based pre-kindergarten, and many other options. It is important for the proposed NSECE to have a complete and representative sampling frame in order to assure that estimates derived from the surveys are unbiased and accurately represent the practices and characteristics of listed home-based and center-based ECE providers across the country.
In order to build such a sampling frame, lists of providers would need to be collected from multiple state and national agencies. Publicly available lists of ECE providers would be collected from the websites of state health and human services (HHS) agencies. This task may include scraping information from web pages designed to help parents find ECE providers, or downloading publicly available data sets. As a second quality assurance step, we would contact each state HHS agency to confirm that the publicly available lists represent all known licensed and/or regulated ECE providers in the state. It may also be necessary to check the department of education website in many states and to contact the department in order to make certain that a complete list of public pre-K programs has been obtained as well, as these programs are not tracked by the majority of states’ HHS agencies.
In addition to these state-level lists, we would obtain lists of providers from other sources for the purpose of sample frame building. We would contact national agencies, such as the Office of Head Start and the General Services Administration, directly to request lists of providers. We would also obtain lists of public, private, and religious k-12 schools from commercial vendors because we have found that many k-12 schools do provide care to children under 5, but do not appear on other lists we collect.
Once these lists are collected, we would combine them, standardize the addresses, and then de-duplicate the entries so that ECE providers appear on the list only once. This cleaned list would become the final sampling frame for the proposed 2019 NSECE from which we will scientifically select providers to participate in the study.
The NSECE project team started list gathering work this spring, and we expect it to continue into the summer. The final samples for the 2019 NSECE center-based provider survey and listed home-based provider survey would be selected in the early fall. Invitations to participate in the survey would be sent to providers in January 2019.
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