The ZIP code of Los Angeles County’s youngest children from birth to 5 frequently predetermines their early education opportunities and lower income children often find themselves with few options available. In partnership with First 5 LA, we at Advancement Project seek to uncover the current landscape for Early Care and Education in L.A. County, researching three areas: access, workforce, and quality.
Percentage of Licensed Seats Available for Children Under 5
- Percentage of Licensed Seats Available for Children Under 5
- Licensed Center Seats Available for Children Ages 0 to 2
- Licensed Center Seats Available for Children Ages 2 to 4
- Children Under 5
- Children Under Age 5 who are Non-Hispanic White
- Children Under Age 5 who are Hispanic/Latino
- Children Under Age 5 who are Black or African American
- Children Under Age 5 who are Asian or Pacific Islander
- Children Under 5 Living with Working Parents
- Children Under 5 Living with Working Families Earning less than 70% State Median Income
- Persons Five Years and Older Speaking Spanish and Speaking English Less than Very Well
- Persons Five Years and Older Speaking Asian or Pacific Islander Languages and Speaking English Less than Very Well
Seats ( per 100 children)
Seats ( per 100 children) in Best Start Communities
There are hundreds of thousands of young children in Los Angeles county – especially low-income, poor, and bilingual emergent children – who lack ECE opportunities in their home communities.
Infant and toddler ECE opportunities are in very short supply, while preschool opportunities are more ample but still insufficient.
ECE shortages are not equally distributed throughout the County, low-income communities of color face much more dramatic shortages than other better-situated communities.
To improve the availability of ECE services in Los Angeles County, there must be a substantial pool of qualified and trained staff who work in these settings, and who are qualified to provide high-quality early childhood education. To develop high quality and effective ECE staff county-wide, there needs to be:
- There were two distinct professional development pathways for groups of Angelenos working within ECE: (1) “traditional” high school and college educated ECE providers with more linear career trajectories and (2) nontraditional providers less comfortable with and less commonly found in formal education settings. For many in this second group, their challenge was accessing traditional formal education pathways to increase their education levels and remain working in the ECE field.
- Despite considerably different profiles, both groups reported needing more relevant formal and informal ECE coursework, clearer professional development pathways, and financial support for formal education completion.
- Several trends emerged, including: the degree to which added years of work experience drives increased compensation, and considerable anxiety among providers that increased quality standards requiring better qualifications, while desired, may “push out” some groups, such as older workers, non-English speakers, and people of color.
Quality improvement efforts in Los Angeles County, while much more established than many counties, are largely still in their infancy, with much still left to address in order to expand, sustain and entrench both the rating and improvement aspects of QRIS in Los Angeles County.
- Less than one-tenth of all centers and about 2% of all family child care homes in Los Angeles County were participating in and had received a rating from one of three QRIS efforts in the county at the time of data receipt for this report.
- Among providers participating in a QRIS in Los Angeles County who had received overall ratings, over half had been highly rated, achieving a 4 or 5 out of 5 on one of the QRIS rating scales.
- Fewer providers serving infants and toddlers participated in Los Angeles County’s QRIS efforts compared to providers serving preschool aged children.
- The relatively small number of participant providers in Los Angeles County QRIS efforts appears to be due at least in part to insufficient funding for larger-scale expansion, coupled with the voluntary nature of participation in two of the three QRIS efforts in the county.
About the Report
The information on this website comes from the Early Care and Education Landscape in Los Angeles County: Access, Workforce, and Quality a point-in-time assessment conducted by Advancement Project, with funding from First 5 LA. The goal of this report is to provide a snapshot of the state of young children and their ECE opportunities in Los Angeles County by exploring their access to ECE services, the ECE workforce and the quality of ECE programs. See the list of contributors here.
Deepest thanks to the ECE Landscape Project Advisory Committee for offering invaluable expertise throughout this project:
- Cristina Alvarado, Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles
- Celia Ayala, Los Angeles Universal Preschool
- Parker Blackman, Los Angeles Partnership for Early Childhood Investment
- Richard Cohen, Children’s Institute, Inc.
- Maureen Diekmann, Los Angeles Unified School District
- Lester García, SEIU Local 99
- Nicole Jones, Crystal Stairs, Inc.
- Kathy Malaske-Samu, LA County Office of Child Care
- Jacquelyn McCroskey, University of Southern California
- Christina Nigrelli, ZERO TO THREE
- Michael Olenick, Child Care Resource Center
- Rachelle Pastor Arizmendi, PACE
- Keesha Woods, LA County Office of Education – Head Start/Early Head Start
- Marlene Zepeda, California State University, Los Angeles
About the Data
Thank you to the Los Angeles County Office of Child Care and the CA Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division for the data displayed on this website’s interactive maps.