Education
Share of Low-Income Children in Quality Care


Share of Low-Income Children in Quality Care

What does this measure?

The estimated enrollment rate of low-income children under age 5 in high quality child care centers. High quality is defined as childcare providers regulated and accredited by one of several national organizations. The percentage of high-quality enrollment is calculated by dividing the number of children receiving Child Care Works (CCW) subsidies that are enrolled in high quality programs by the estimated number of CCW-eligible children who need child care (those with parents who are in the workforce).

Why is this important?

Children placed in high quality care settings are safer and more secure while their parents are at work. They also develop important social and academic skills and are more likely to be ready to start kindergarten. Despite its importance, high-quality child care is often expensive and out of reach for low-income families. Public subsidy programs, such as CCW help low-income families afford child care. The greater the share of low-income children that receive high-quality early child care, the stronger their chances for strong academic outcomes in the future. However, currently there are fewer CCW subsidies than there are eligible children, and even those that get subsidies may not have access to a high-quality center.

How is our county performing?

In 2019, an estimated 6% of low-income children under 5 who needed care were enrolled in high-quality early childhood centers, about half of the statewide rate of 10%.

Among the comparison counties, Schuylkill and Lebanon had lower rates of low-income enrollment in quality childcare, at 3% and 5% respectively. Lehigh was higher than Berks, at, 8%, as were, Lancaster, 10%, Chester, 15%, and Montgomery, 19%.

Notes about the data

Enrollment counts are based on October enrollment in the fall of a given school year. Data not available prior to 2018.

High quality providers were defined as regulated child care provider settings that received a Keystone STAR 3 or 4 designation or were certified by an accreditation that was recognized by the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). To be eligible for Child Care Works (CCW) subsidies, families need to have incomes below 200% of the U.S. poverty threshold. Estimates of the number of children under 5 years needing care were derived by multiplying the percent of children under 6 years who have all available parents in the workforce by the estimate of children ages 0-4. This number was then multiplied by the percent of children under 6 years living in families with incomes below 200 percent of the U.S. poverty threshold, as issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, to estimate the number of children eligible for Child Care Works (CCW).

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Share of Low-Income Children in Quality Care
20182019
Pennsylvania10%10%
Berks County5%6%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County15%15%
Lancaster County10%10%
Lebanon County6%5%
Lehigh County7%8%
Montgomery County19%19%
Schuylkill County3%3%

Source: Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
Notes: Includes children under 5 in centers designated high quality. Data prior to 2018 is unavailable.




Number of Low-Income Children in Quality Care
20182019
Pennsylvania20,69320,532
Berks County425500
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County657678
Lancaster County845836
Lebanon County134117
Lehigh County467555
Montgomery County1,2441,305
Schuylkill County6861

Source: Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
Notes: Includes children under 5 in centers designated high quality. Data prior to 2018 is unavailable.




INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY
Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Decreasing
Change in Labor Force Increasing
Employment to Population ratio Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Quality Early Childhood Centers Increasing
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Maintaining
Student Performance on Grade 3 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on High School English Decreasing
Student Performance on High School Math Maintaining
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
Health Status Not Applicable
People Enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in K-6 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Cost of Homeownership Maintaining
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Age of Housing Stock Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Dams Not Applicable
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing