The number of children enrolled in Pinellas County’s subsidized child care fell from 12,047 in fiscal year 2008-09 to 11,386 in fiscal year 2009-10; a decline of 5.5%. The average monthly enrollment for fiscal year 2009-2010 was below 12,000 for the first time since the 2005-06 fiscal year (see chart 1). This decrease in total enrollment may be reflective of the impact of relatively flat or reduced non-VPK program funding levels. The state’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) program comprises approximately one-third of the total enrollment and is generally not subject to funding level fluctuations. For the first five months of the 2010-11 fiscal year, enrollment increased 4.3% over the same period of the prior year.
In fiscal year 2009-10, the number of children on the wait list averaged 4,010, a decrease of 8.8% from the previous year. This was the first decline in the average monthly wait list since the 2003-04 fiscal year (see chart 1). The decline in the wait list continued into the new fiscal year with a 12.1% decrease during October 2010 –February 2011.
Seasonal Patterns in Enrollment and Wait List
Enrollment in subsidized child care experiences significant fluctuations at varying points during each year. Traditionally, enrollment declines sharply from May through July before increasing in August when the school year begins. These variations are primarily the result of programs which allow families to remove their children from care while school is out and return them to care when school resumes. Charts 2 and 3 depict these fluctuations in enrollment and the wait list.
- Coordinated Child Care – All
- Pinellas County License Board – Licensing
- Achieve Tampa Bay – Child Care Outreach
- PARC – Discovery Learning Center and Homebound
Read More About It:
Nearly Half of Preschoolers Receive Child Care from Relatives: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/children/011574.html
State Child Care Assistance Policies 2008: Too Little Progress for Children and Families: Examines changes in state policies on childcare assistance between February 2007 and February 2008, including income eligibility limits, waiting lists, copayments, and reimbursement rates. Includes state-by-state comparisons between 2001 and 2007.