6/20/2011 - Ray Marshall Center Begins Work with Texas Early Learning Council to Conduct Statewide Early Childhood Education Needs Assessment

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The Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources at the LBJ School of Public Affairs has begun a new project with the Texas Early Learning Council to conduct a statewide needs assessment of early childcare and education programs in Texas. 

Deanna Schexnayder, senior research scientist at the Center and recently named assistant dean for finance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, is the principal investigator of the one-year project that began on June 1. The project has several objectives, among which includes: a comprehensive needs assessment analyzing Texas' early childhood education and school-age care system; analyses of current supply of and projected demand for early childhood services along with recommendations for meeting identified gaps in programs and services and quality; an assessment of the quality of the early childhood services available to families; and recommendations for conducting future periodic needs assessment.

“We have not looked comprehensively at our state’s early childhood needs in 40 years. Our early childhood population is huge and growing – we have more young children in Texas than every New England state combined,” said John Gasko, Ph.D., council chair and director of Statewide Initiatives for the Children’s Learning Institute at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health). “The needs assessment will allow us to effectively plan for the future of early childhood in Texas.”

For demographic estimates and projections, the Ray Marshall Center will partner with the Hobby Center, led by nationally-renowned demographer Steve Murdock, Ph.D., former director of the U.S. Census Bureau and Texas State Demographer.

The Texas Early Learning Council is a 19-member, governor-appointed advisory council on early childhood education and care. It has been 40 years since the last assessment of this kind was conducted. Population growth and demographic changes necessitates an updated assessment in order to effectively plan and implement future early childhood programs.

Ray Marshall Center

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