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Understanding the Supply of Quality Early Childhood Education Seats in Arkansas’ Benton and Washington Counties

March 1, 2019
This report examines the supply and demand for quality early childhood education in a specific locale, namely Benton and Washington counties in Northwest Arkansas.

While questions about the supply of and demand for early care and education (ECE) are often posed and investigated at the national level, their answers can vary significantly from location to location. This report examines the supply and demand for quality early childhood education in a specific locale, namely Benton and Washington counties in Northwest Arkansas.

Despite the fact that there are sufficient supply of early childcare education (ECE) seats in the region (with the exception of downtown Bentonville), some seats remain unfilled in Northwest Arkansas due to challenges with management capacity in centers and lack of consumer awareness. Based on these findings, the researchers recommend:

1. Providing administrative and managerial supports to centers;
2. Facilitating consumer information and education in the child care search;
3. Bolstering the supply of home-based providers; and
4. Providing community level support for the professional development of ECE workers.

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