New Schools on the Block: Understanding and Expanding Community Developer Participation in Early Childhood Care and Education

Matthew Singh

W14-9: Increasingly recognizing that stable and affordable housing is a necessary but not sufficient condition to lift families out of poverty, organizations in the community development field have invested in providing child care and supporting child care businesses. However, with the exception of high profile organizations such as the Harlem Children’s Zone and Purpose Built Communities, community developers’ contributions are largely unrecognized in both the education and community development fields. In response to this knowledge gap, this paper draws on ten case studies to understand 1) how community developers decide to become involved with child care; 2) the roles that community developers assume when involved with child care; and 3) the forms and means of implementation for community developers’ child care programs. The paper concludes with five recommendations for practitioners and policy makers to help improve and expand community developer involvement in child care. Ultimately, the paper finds that community developer involvement in child care holds substantial promise as one strategy among many to improve the availability and quality of early education opportunities across the country.