During September’s meeting of the Local Early Education Planning Council of Santa Clara County, Research Analyst Associate David Villegas, Ph.D., from the Office of the Superintendent, presented the Santa Clara County Early Learning Facilities Study.
Conducted throughout 2017, the reason for the study was to more deeply understand and assess the facility needs of early care and education in Santa Clara County.
Our organization participated in the study, proving various sets of data on licensed centers, family child care homes, and licensed-exempt centers for infant and toddler care, as well as preschool.
After looking at the results, it was determined that an estimated 28,136 children (between the ages of 0 and 2) in Santa Clara County need child care services, but are currently without it. San Jose, the biggest city in the county, showed 16,465 children who are without childcare but desire access to it.
All of the other cities -- Milpitas, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Los Altos, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Morgan Hill, San Martin, and Gilroy -- also show that children and families are without access to child care.
For preschool, the need is not as great, but it still exists. In San Jose alone, the study found that there were 2,743 children in need of a spot at a preschool, accounting for 73% of unmet preschool needs in the county. However, in areas like Sunnyvale and Campbell, over 1,000 spaces are available for children ages 3 and 4 years old.
In order to construct a portable building for a total of 24 kids, an amount of $609,888 is needed; and to meet the needs of only 60% of those seeking space at preschool, $117 million would be required to construct and develop early learning facilities.
From the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s pamphlet on the recent study, they listed some conclusions and recommendations, which are as follows:
- Advocate for quality ECE program and early learning facility development
- Facilitate the implementation of a countywide early learning facilities development plan
- Offer facilities training and technical assistance to ECE providers; and
- Create and manage a local fund for awarding one-time early learning facility development grants.
To get more in-depth information on the Early Learning Facilities study, go here.