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Preschool Supply and Demand in the United States

Goldman, Karla Shepard
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Day Care, Education, Educational Trends, Preschool Education


This paper reviews some of the issues and trends involved in the provision of child care services for preschool children. The first section of the paper presents an historical overview of the philosophical, academic, and social trends which influenced the development of preschool programs. The current supply and demand for preschool services is reviewed and numerical data are presented to illustrate the types of services presently available and the characteristics of the families currently being served. The role of the federal government in the development and provision of preschool services is described. This section reviews past and current legislation which has influenced day care and other types of preschool programs and discusses some of the social trends which have influenced the extent of the government's role in this area. The next section of the paper describes the role of the private sector in the provisions of preschool services reviewing the role of family and relatives, family day care, private programs, and industry in providing preschool programs. The final section of the paper discusses some of the issues involved in the future development of preschool programs. The issues discussed include funding, coordination of services, and questions of delivery systems and program quality. This section also includes suggestions for the development and delivery of quality preschool programs. (BD) (49pp.)

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