TitleInequities in access to quality early care and education: Associations with funding and community context
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHatfield, BE, Lower, JK, Cassidy, DJ, Faldowski, RA
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Pagination316 - 326
Date Published01/2015


  • Community-level concentrated disadvantage and affluence was related to center quality.
  • Community-level concentrated affluence was related to family child care quality.
  • State Pre-K, Head Start, and subsidy funding were related to higher center quality.
  • Subsidy funding was related to higher family child care quality.
  • Influence of funding on quality varied by community-level characteristics.



The purpose of the current study was to examine program- and community-level characteristics related to total points earned by early care and education programs in North Carolina's Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (TQRIS). Multiple statewide data sources, program- and community-level characteristics were combined to better understand associations with total points awarded in the TQRIS. The concentration of state and federal funding at the program level, and the socioeconomics of the communities that programs resided were related to program quality. The current study demonstrated that there are inequities within the system where the highest quality early care and education programs are differentially available based on program funding characteristics, community socioeconomics, and interactions among the program and community variables. Future research and policy implications are discussed.

Short TitleEarly Childhood Research Quarterly