Subject: Studies in the News 06-37 (August 18, 2006)


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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission


Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Shaping the structure of prekindergarten
   Early childhood workforce salaries
   Crisis looms for quality child care
   State early care and education initiatives
   Quality in early childhood education
HEALTH
   Air pollution and infant death rates
   Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems initiatives
   Disparities in health care access
   Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment
   Enrolling uninsured children
   Insurance enrollment and school lunch program
   Improving birth outcomes
   Early intervention and preemies
   Passive smoking and children
HUMAN SERVICES
   Toward new child care policy
   Sick leave for child care workers
   Child care subsidies and employment
   Parents thoughts on child care
   Girls planning to be teen mothers
STUDIES TO COME
   Babies detect errors in arithmetic
   Maternal conditions and children's behavior
   Premature births increasing
   Parents' child care poll
   Child care state fact book
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News: Children and Family Supplement is a service provided to the First 5 California by the California State Library. The service features weekly lists of current articles focusing on Children and Family policy. Prior lists can be viewed from the California State Library's Web site at www.library.ca.gov/CRB/SITN/.

How to Obtain Materials Listed in SITN:

  • When available on the Internet, the URL for the full-text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; cslsirc@library.ca.gov) with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:

EDUCATION

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Pre-K: Shaping the System that Shapes Children. By Stephen Goldsmith, Harvard University and Rhonda Meyer, Alliance for School Choice. Civic Bulletin, No. 42.(Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, New York, New York) August 2006. 16 p.

Full Text at: www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/cb_42.pdf

["States have a choice to model prekindergarten systems after America's market-based postsecondary education system, or to limit parental choice by adding an additional responsibility and expense to the largely government-run K-12 public education system. This paper examines Pre-K options and considers how to best offer early-childhood education services. We argue that increased funding should be used to expand participation and quality through the existing system of early child care and education. States should avoid limiting parental choice by establishing government-controlled pre-K systems. Further, we argue that building state-run facilities and programs would drive up early child care and education costs."]

[Request #S63701]

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Low Salaries for Staff, High Costs to Children: State-by-State Wage Data for the Early Childhood Education Workforce. By the Center for the Child Care Workforce. (AFT Educational Foundation, Washington, DC) 2006. 9 p.

Full Text at: ccw.cleverspin.com/pubs/2005Compendium.pdf

["Early childhood education is a major industry that is vital for the economy, employing more than 2 million workers. Yet the women and men who perform this important work remain on the bottom rung of the wage ladder. The systematic departure of the best-educated employees leaves the industry in crisis. Workers can’t afford to stay. Yet, our children can’t afford for them to leave. This compendium of the most recent available early childhood education workforce data includes information on average center-based salaries in all 50 states compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics."]

[Request #S63702]

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California Early Care and Education Workforce Study. By Marcy Whitebrook and others, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California at Berkeley. (The Center, Berkeley, California) 2006.

["The report is the first comprehensive profile of the more than 130,000 child-care educators who work in 37,366 licensed homes and 8,740 centers. It suggests that low salaries and high turnover are dissuading young people from entering the child-care field, which may result in fewer options for parents at a time when more research is touting the benefits of early childhood development." Los Angeles Times (August 9, 2006) 1.]

Licensed Child Care Centers, Statewide 2006: 122 p.
http://www.iir.berkeley.edu/cscce/pdf/statewide_centers.pdf

Licensed Family Child Care Providers, Statewide 2006: 105 p.
http://www.iir.berkeley.edu/cscce/pdf/statewide_providers.pdf

Licensed Child Care Centers and Family Child Care Providers, Statewide Highlights 2006: 12 p.
http://www.iir.berkeley.edu/cscce/pdf/statewide_highlights.pdf

[Request #S63703]

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Starting Off Right: Promoting Child Development from Birth in State Early Care and Education Initiatives. By Rachel Schumacher and others. (Center for Law and Social Policy, Washington, DC) July 2006.

[This publication "describes a menu of strategies some states are using to improve early care and education for infants and toddlers, and supports to their families.... And since a growing proportion of very young children spend extensive time in the care of someone other than a parent, state policies to promote the quality and continuity of those settings and relationships should be part of a strategy to assure children are ready for school. Despite compelling evidence of the importance of child development from birth, a clear state early care and education policy agenda that addresses infants and toddlers is still emerging. This paper provides illustrative state examples of specific policies to promote child development birth to 3, as well as ideas for state funding and governance structures that provide attention and resources for all children birth to age 5."]

Executive Summary: 6 p.
http://www.clasp.org/ChildCareAndEarlyEducation/StartingOffRight/StartingOffRightExecSummary.pdf

Full Report: 52 p.
http://www.clasp.org/ChildCareAndEarlyEducation/StartingOffRight/5008_Clasp.pdf

[Request #S63704]

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Quality by Design: What Do We Know About Quality in Early Learning and Child Care, and What Do We Think? A Literature Review. By Martha Friendly, Gillian Doherty and Jane Beach. (Childcare Resource and Research Unit, University of Toronto, Ontario) [2006.] 32 p.

Full Text at: www.childcarequality.ca/wdocs/QbD_LiteratureReview.pdf

["This report reviews the literature on ideas, research, policy and practice regarding quality in ELCC and is as much about what we think as what we know. The literature represented is drawn from three main sources: the relatively small number of Canadian research and policy documents pertinent to quality issues; the empirical research literature which is primarily from the United States and tends to be focused at the individual program level; and the policy analysis literature, much of which comes from western Europe and is for the most part concerned with conceptions of quality and quality at the system level."]

[Request #S63705]

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HEALTH

AIR POLLUTION

Air Pollution and Infant Death in Southern California, 1989-2000. By Beate Ritz, and others, Department of Epidemiology and Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, California. (The University, Los Angeles, California) August 2006. 12 p.

["Babies living in neighborhoods with the worst air pollution face a greater risk of dying from respiratory problems during their first year, UCLA scientists reported. The research team examined death records of 19,664 babies under a year old who died between 1989 and 2000 in San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange counties. The team compared the deaths of infants who had lived in the most polluted areas, such as northwest Riverside County, with those of babies who had lived in the four-county region's cleanest air. The study linked pollution from carbon monoxide, fine particles and nitrogen dioxide -- all common tailpipe and factory emissions -- to higher death rates among infants 1 month to 1 year of age." Riverside Press Enterprise (August 5, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63706]

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CHILDREN

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005: Opportunities and Challenges for ECCS Initiatives. By Kay Johnson, Project Thrive. Short Take No. 1. (National Center for Children in Poverty, New York, New York) 2006. 8 p.

Full Text at: http://nccp.org/media/tst06a.pdf

["Project THRIVE's Short Take No. 1 examines the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA), which included significant changes in Medicaid and related children's programs that will affect health access and coverage for young children ages birth to 5. State policymakers and family advocates will need to use their tools and knowledge wisely to ensure a positive impact from the DRA on young children."]

[Request #S63707]

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Improving Children's Health: Understanding Children’s Health Disparities and Promising Approaches to Address Them. By the Children's Defense Fund. (The Fund, Washington, DC) 2006. 93 p.

Full Text at: cdf.convio.net/site/DocServer/CDF_Improving_Children_s_Health_FINAL.pdf?docID=1781

["Despite work to close gaps, there remain racial and ethnic disparities in access to health care services and insurance coverage among Latino, Black, and White children. For example, Latino kids are more than three times as likely and Black children are almost 50 percent more likely than White children to be uninsured. This Children’s Defense Fund study examines the gaps and what’s working to narrow them. Promising approaches include the following: creating health partnerships with schools, churches and other community centers; using community health care workers; using mobile programs; focusing on increasing preventative care; and strengthening policies. This study controls for income and insurance coverage in its assessment of racial and ethnic disparities." Connect for Kids (June 12, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63708]

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Maximizing the Use of EPSDT to Improve the Health and Development of Young Children. By Kay Johnson, Project Thrive. Project Thrive. Short Take No. 2. (National Center for Children in Poverty, New York, New York) 2006. 8 p.

Full Text at: nccp.org/media/tst06b.pdf

["This second Project Thrive describes the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program of Medicaid with a focus on young children ages birth to 5 and offers tips for using the program in state Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems to improve early childhood health and development, state performance rates on child health, and collaborative efforts with other federal and state programs and services. Through EPSDT, Medicaid can finance services that promote child health, child development, and healthy mental development such as regular checkups, interperiodic screenings, and treatment. While in theory EPSDT guarantees children coverage for a full range of services, in practice, screening and referral rates fall short of the 80 percent screening benchmark set in 1989. State ECCS initiatives can use interagency collaboration to improve EPSDT performance and child health access."]

[Request #S63709]

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HEALTH INSURANCE

California’s Express Enrollment Program: Lessons from the Medi-Cal/School Lunch Pilot Program -- And Suggested Next Steps in Making Enrollment Gateways Efficient and Effective. Issue Brief. By Dawn Horner and Dania Wasongarz. (The Children’s Partnership, Santa Monica, California) July 2006. 12 p.

Full Text at: www.expresslaneinfo.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=9682&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm

["This issue brief documents results from California’s Express Enrollment pilot program to enroll uninsured children into health insurance through school lunch. It reviews program activities, assesses its overall effectiveness, and applies lessons to state efforts to use public programs to enroll uninsured children into health coverage."]

[Request #S63710]

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Express Lane Eligibility Project: Evaluation Report. By Michael R. Cousineau and Eriko O. Wada. (Division of Community Health, University of Southern California, Alhambra, California) July 2006. 46 p.

Full Text at: www.calendow.org/reference/publications/pdf/access/SC_ExpressLane_final.pdf

["Express Lane was designed to simplify and streamline the Medi-Cal (and other insurance products) enrollment process by linking it to the National School Lunch Program. The program was authorized by AB 59 (2001) and implemented as a pilot project beginning in the 2003-2004 school year with funding from The California Endowment and the Blue Shield of California Foundation over a three-year period in seven school districts in six California counties: Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Mateo, Mendocino and San Luis Obispo. The USC Division of Community Health conducted an evaluation of the Express Lane pilot project to examine its effectiveness as a gateway strategy to enroll children into public health insurance programs."]

[Request #S63711]

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INFANTS

Bringing Home Better Birth Outcomes. By the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Issue Brief. (The Association, Washington, DC) June 2006. 6 p.

Full Text at: www.astho.org/pubs/HomeVisitingBriefFinal.pdf

["'Bringing Home Better Birth Outcomes' examines home visiting as a strategy employed by state health agencies to deliver public health interventions aimed at improving birth outcomes.... Topics include an overview of home-visiting programs; a discussion of goals, target populations, common service components, outcomes, and financing of state-level programs; and examples of programs from Georgia, Maine, Montana, Oklahoma, and Puerto Rico. Home-visiting resources, including state programs featured in the brief, nationally organized home-visiting models, and publications on home visiting, are also provided. The brief is intended for use by states as they continue to address the challenges of reducing infant mortality and preterm birth, maternal and infant morbidity, and disparities in birth and pregnancy outcomes." MCH Alert (July 7, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63712]

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"A Randomized, Controlled Trial of the Effectiveness of an Early-Intervention Program in Reducing Parenting Stress After Preterm Birth." By Per Ivar Kaaresen and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 118, no. 1 (July 2006) pp. e9-e19.

Full Text at: pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/118/1/e9

["An early-intervention program can significantly reduce parents' stress after the birth of a preterm infant, according to a study conducted by researchers in Norway.... Kaaresen and colleagues evaluated the impact of an intervention program by randomly assigning 146 parents of preterm infants to the program or to a comparison control group.... The preterm intervention group had significantly better stress scores at 6 and 12 months compared with the preterm control group - regardless of the prematurity of the baby, mothers' and fathers' education or income, or number of older siblings - the team reports.... 'Because some studies have shown that parenting stress is a risk factor for later behavioral problems in both preterm and other children, the reduction in parenting stress during the infant's first year of life may potentially be an important factor in reducing long-term behavioral problems in these infants,' the investigators conclude." Reuters (July 13, 2006) online.]

[Request #S63713]

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SMOKING

Quantifying the Cost of Passive Smoking on Child Health: Evidence from Children’s Cotinine Samples. By Paul Frijters, Queensland University of Technology, and others. IZA Discussion Paper No. 2219. (Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn, Germany) May 2006. 30 p.

Full Text at: ftp.iza.org/dp2219.pdf

["Passive smoking is a major public health issue. This paper documents the main risk factors that determine children’s exposure to passive smoke, and then uses econometric techniques to provide a new economic quantification of the impact of this exposure on child health. Such information is valuable to policy-makers when deciding upon the amount of resources to direct towards the problem of passive smoking.... We find that both parental and child carer smoking behaviour, as well as area deprivation, are major risk factors in determining children’s exposure to passive smoke. Accounting for the potential measurement error in cotinine in our estimations, we have calculated that for a child who is exposed to a high number of passive smoking risk factors, the shadow price or income-equivalence of such exposure is £16,000 (US$30,000) per year."]

[Request #S63714]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD CARE

Toward a New Child Care Policy. By David Edie. Brief No. 2 (The Urban Institute, Washington, DC) July 2006. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/311347_childcarepolicy.pdf

["This paper describes the primary components of the U.S. child care subsidy system and highlights variation in policies across states. It also describes challenges facing the system, including state fiscal constraints and access to quality care for low-income children. The author identifies state-level efforts to improve the quality of care through rating systems and to coordinate child care with early education systems." Urban Institute Update (July 19, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63715]

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Get the Prescription: Child Care Workers Need Paid Sick Days. By the Center for Law and Social Policy. (CLASP, Washington, DC) June 2006. 3 p.

Full Text at: www.clasp.org/publications/get_prescription.pdf

["This handy fact sheet lays out the importance of paid sick days to child care workers. In Congress, states, and cities, initiatives are arising to establish paid sick days laws so that workers who are sick or need to care for a family member do not lose a job or wages if they take some days off. About half of workers in the U.S. are without paid sick days. For child care workers, the lack of paid sick days is particularly problematic. Child care workers have a double whammy reason to support paid sick days: these workers need it not only for themselves but also for the parents of the children in their care; otherwise, parents with sick children who face losing a day's wages may try to leave a sick child with the child care worker, despite any rules that say otherwise."]

[Request #S63716]

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Parent Employment and the Use of Child Care Subsidies. By J. Lee Kreader and others. (National Center for Children in Poverty, New York, New York) 2006.

["Child care subsidies have the potential to support parents’ employment and children’s development. A growing body of research tells us what parent employment outcomes are associated with the use of child care subsidies, how employment patterns and decisions differ for various subgroups of parents, and whether child care subsidies appear to make more difference for certain subgroups. The issue is explored in a Research Brief, a Literature Review, and a Table of Methods and Findings. This is the second package in a series on child care subsidies that also includes an Introduction to the field."]

Research Brief: 9 p.
http://nccp.org/media/CCSresbrief3.pdf

Literature Review: 16 p.
http://nccp.org/media/CCSlitrev3.pdf

Table of Methods and Findings: 8 p.
http://nccp.org/media/CCStable2.pdf

[Request #S63717]

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PARENTS

What Do Parents Think About Child Care? Findings From A Series Of Focus Groups. By Mousumi Sarkar. (National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, Arlington, Virginia) 2006. 40 p.

Full Text at: www.naccrra.org/docs/policy/FocusGrpReport.pdf

["As more than six in 10 children are cared for regularly by someone other than their parents, the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) conducted a series of focus groups to better understand what parents look for when they select child care, the difficulties they experience, and compromises they make, and what in their minds constitutes quality care."]

[Request #S63718]

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TEEN PREGNANCY

‘Planned’ Teenage Pregnancy: Perspectives of Young Parents from Disadvantaged Backgrounds. By Suzanne Cater and Lester Coleman, Trust for the Study of Adolescence. (Published for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation by The Policy Press, Bristol, UK) June 2006. 80 p.

Full Text at: www.jrf.org.uk/bookshop/eBooks/9781861348753.pdf

["Teenage girls who plan to get pregnant do so as a way to improve the quality of their lives, a report has found. A study published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that girls as young as 13 see motherhood as preferable to working in a low-paid, dead-end job. Far from the common assumption that teenage pregnancies result from irresponsibility or ignorance about contraception, some young girls actively choose to have a baby as a way to change their life and to gain independence and a new identity. The research was carried out by the Trust for the Study of Adolescence and was based on interviews with 51 young mothers and fathers aged 13-22 living in six deprived areas of England." Early Education in the News (July 25, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63719]

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STUDIES TO COME
[The following studies, reports, and documents have been ordered or requested, but have not yet arrived. Requests may be placed, and copies will be provided when the material arrives.]

EDUCATION

MATHEMATICS

"Infant Brains Detect Arithmetic Errors." By Andrea Berger and others. IN: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 103, no. 33 (August 15, 2006) pp. 12649-12653.

["Next time someone complains about arithmetic being hard, math lovers can defend themselves by saying 'even a 6-month-old can do it.' Through monitoring the brains of infants, researchers confirmed that infants as early as 6 months in age can detect mathematical errors, putting to rest a debate that has gone on for over a decade. A team of scientists from the United States and Israel exposed 24 infants to a videotaped puppet show. They used the puppets for addition and subtraction while observing the reaction of the babies.... During the tests, the babies wore a special head net containing 128 sensors that monitored their brain activity. Analysis illustrated that babies have similar brain activity to that of adults when served with correct and incorrect mathematical solutions." LiveScience (August 9, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63720]

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HEALTH

CHILDREN

"Maternal Mental Health, Substance Use, and Domestic Violence in the Year After Delivery and Subsequent Behavior Problems in Children at Age 3 Years." By Robert C. Whitaker and others. IN: Archives of General Psychiatry, vol. 63, no. 5 (May 2006) pp. 551-560.

["'Our study suggests that, by 3 years of age, there is already evidence of the effect of adverse childhood experiences, occurring in this study in the form of parental mental health problems, substance use, and domestic violence,' state the authors.... In an effort to understand the cause of children's behavior problems and to prevent such problems from occurring, researchers have focused on various maternal conditions that may contribute to behavior problems and that may be mitigated by clinical intervention. Co-occurring conditions in the areas of mental health, substance use, and domestic violence can significantly impair maternal functioning. The purpose of the study described in the article was to examine how a cumulative measure of these maternal conditions is related to children's social and emotional functioning.... The authors conclude that 'to play their most useful role, health care providers might wish to consider the health and well-being of the family... rather than limiting their focus to the individual patient or to a particular developmental period.'" MCH Alert (May 26, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63721]

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INFANTS

Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention. Edited by Richard E. Behrman and Adrienne Stith Butler, Committee on Understanding Premature Birth and Assuring Healthy Outcomes, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (National Academies Press, Washington, DC) 2006. 570 p.

["More than half a million babies are born prematurely each year, and specialists are urging that doctors take new steps to battle one cause: infertility treatments that spur twins, triplets and other multiple births. But despite a booming business, infertility treatment explains only a fraction of the nation’s huge and growing problem of prematurity. One in eight babies now is born at least three weeks early, many even earlier, a rate that has increased more than 30 percent in two decades. Trying to help these fragile infants survive and thrive costs the nation at least $26 billion a year, and there’s little likelihood of improvement soon, says a sobering report... by the Institute of Medicine." Associated Press (July 13, 2006) online.]

Executive Summary: 45 p.
http://newton.nap.edu/execsumm_pdf/11622

[Request #S63722]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD CARE

Parents' Perceptions of Child Care in the United States: NACCRRA's National Parent Poll. By the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. (The Association, Arlington, Virginia) 2006.

["Parents’ greatest concern when evaluating child care is quality, reveals a recent poll released by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). 'Parents’ Perceptions of Child Care in the United States: NACCRRA’s National Parent Poll' surveyed 600 parents nationwide to gain a better understanding of what parents consider when they are looking for early childhood settings for their young children. The top concern for parents was quality; cost ranked second. Nurturing staff with specialized training in early childhood education were quality factors identified by parents in the poll - factors that many parents believed were already required of most staff. Currently only 12 states require staff to have training in early childhood development. Efforts to increase standards for early childhood education staff are making advances in many states and at the federal level. We encourage all policymakers to consider issues of scholarships, loan forgiveness and appropriate compensation and benefits when recommending higher standards for early childhood education staff." CCW/AFTEF Newsletter (June 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63723]

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Child Care in America: 2006 State Fact Book. By the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. (The Association, Arlington, Virginia) 2006.

["What are the facts about child care in various states? NACCRRA collected data from State Networks of CCR&R [Child Care Resource and Referral] agencies to compile a fact sheet about child care for each state. This report consists of a fact sheet for each state and a national overview of child care."]

[Request #S63724]

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