Close to home: Family-centered spatial analysis of access to early care and education


Journal Article


DeBaryshe, B. et al.


This study addresses the issue of equitable access to early care and education (ECE) using the state of Hawaiʻi as an example. We created spatially-based measures of ECE seat density, cost burden, and quality that describe the demand-adjusted supply of ECE services within a five-mile drive of a family’s home. We used multivariate spatial modeling techniques to predict ECE access at the community level, with median income, county of location, population density, and community ethnic composition as predictors. Results revealed some disparities, such as a higher cost burden in low-income areas. However, we also found promising results relating to seat density and quality in low-income communities, as well as better affordability for some ethnic groups. The strategic location of Head Start, public preK, and classrooms sponsored by a local philanthropy created conditions where some high-need communities had among the best ECE access in the state. The spatial methods used in this study are highly flexible and can be adapted to answer any number of questions about access to community resources for young children and families at different levels of geographic granularity.


DeBaryshe, B., Im, S., Azuma, J., Stern, I. R., Nguyen, M., & Chen, Q. (2024). Close to home: Family-centered spatial analysis of access to early care and education. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 68, 123–134, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2024.04.003.