Center for Community Futures
P.O. Box 5309
Berkeley, CA 94705

Contact Us:

Jim Masters, Consultant (510) 459-7570
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Allen Stansbury, Consultant in Public Policy Research Analysis (707) 540-5776
Teresa Wickstrom, Head Start Consultant (909) 790-0670

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This is where you can get Community Assessment information by the Center for Community Futures.

On this page:
  1. Information about our community assessment services.
  2. Information about the Santa Clara County Community Information Profile and Needs Assessment.
  3. Information about the Berkeley-Albany YMCA Head Start Community Assessment 2006-2007.
  4. Click here for information regarding the Community Assessment: A How-To Guide for Local Head Start Programs (currently being updated for 2017).

1. We Can Help You with Your Local Community Assessment.

Head Start: Make the most out of your next Community Assessment.

Too much data?
Not enough time?
More questions than answers?

We can help.

Performing your own Community Assessment, as required by the Performance Standards, can be a daunting process. The Center for Community Futures can help your local Head Start program develop a comprehensive, detailed, and thorough community assessment complete with narrative, tables, and charts.

We have worked with local Head Start programs for more than 40 years. We offer a complete package of assessment services for all levels of staff and budget capacities.

bullet

Provide a full working draft guaranteed to cover all required elements

bullet

Assemble data into useful tables and charts

bullet

Fill in gaps in your current knowledge base

bullet

Design and analyze your own family survey

bullet

Facilitate staff and parent focus groups

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Help you identify strategies to improve your program

bullet

Customized technical support

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Phone and Internet coaching


Use Our Expertise.

Putting together your program’s Community Assessment involves, at a minimum, gathering and analyzing data on:

• Births
• Child care
• Community conditions
• Crime
• Culture
• Demographics
• Disabilities
• Economy
• Eligibility
• Food
• Geography
• Health
• Housing
• Income
• Languages
• Population
• Race/Ethnicity
• Safety
• Schools
• Service Area
• Transportation
• Trends
• ... And more.

We can help.
E-mail Jim Masters, jmasters@cencomfut.com or call him at 510-459-7570.


2.
For details on the Santa Clara County community assessment we worked on, please click here
.
 


3. Berkeley-Albany YMCA Head Start Community Assessment 2006-2007.

To download this document in its entirety, please click here.  Otherwise, scroll down to view.

Executive Summary

The Berkeley-Albany YMCA Early Childhood Head Start and Early Head Start Programs include the three very distinct cities of Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville and is one of four Head Start/Early Head Start grantees serving Alameda County, California. The purpose of this community assessment is to update the statistical data and relevant community information to identify the strengths, needs, and trends that impact on the design and implementation of the Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

Data was obtained from a variety of sources including the State Departments of Finance and Education, County Social Services and Health Departments, U.S. Census 2000 data and corresponding updates, BAYMCA Program Information Reports (PIR) and a recent survey of Early Head Start and Head Start parents. The information was used to frame a report that defines the number of Head Start and Early Head Start eligible children living in the service area, what are the greatest needs for the families and community, and what the program can do to meet those needs.


1.
  
Head Start Eligible Population

Using child population and percentages of poverty, there are 2,071 children ages birth to five who may be eligible for Head Start services living in Berkeley, Albany, and Emeryville.

bullet

There are 1,104 Early Head Start eligible children, birth to age 3

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There are 967 Head Start eligible children, ages 3 to 5

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According to Medi-Cal birth records, there are 396 pregnant women eligible for Early Head Start services in the target area.

2.  Family and Community Needs

Based on analysis of family surveys, review of reports and service referrals provided to families, the following are some of the most critical needs for families in the service area:

bullet

Housing subsidies and/or supports.

bullet

Services for children birth to 3 years.

bullet

Continued need for services to serve an ethnically, educationally, and linguistically diverse population.


3.   Findings

There are some key findings in this report that stand out and provide vital information for program planning:

bullet

This 2006 analysis finds between 2,095 eligible children birth to age 5, as measured by the most readily available indicators.

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There is a continued shortfall, or gap, in the availability of full-time subsidized care to serve eligible children from birth to 2 years.

bullet

TANF and Medi-Cal enrollment are no longer accurate indicators of child eligibility due to time limits for family enrollment and the higher bar for participation in these programs. TANF rates have dropped over 50% in the past five years, while economic trends have not lowered the numbers of poor children live in working families.

bullet

School enrollment in free or subsidized lunch programs shows a continued strong demand for Head Start services in the Service Area despite relatively slow population growth in two of the three cities served.

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Birth rates are highest among the fastest growing ethnic groups in the area, specifically among Asian and Latinos. Given the steady demand for English-language assistance in the schools, the Service Area continues to attract first-generation immigrants with young children. There are growing concentrations of families from India, Pakistan, and the Middle East, as reflected in increasing diversity of Head Start and elementary school age enrollment.

Input from parents and community members indicate continued concern to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population with language and literacy challenges, and related impacts on the staff and overall program.


4.  Three-Year Goals and Objectives

The following goals were approved by the Policy Council and Board at their respective meetings on May 25, 2006.

Goal 1.  Increase services to infants and toddlers birth to age 3.
Goal 2.  Improve family, staff and child literacy.
Goal 3.  Continue to address demographic changes in the community.
Goal 4.  Collaborate with community groups and families to address the issues of domestic and community violence.
Goal 5.  Participate in Preschool for All efforts in Alameda County.

The above goals and objectives will serve as the cornerstone for program planning to address the needs of Head Start children and families in the service area.  The information compiled in this report will also assist the Head Start Program and their partners to better collaborate in implementing programs and services.


Section 1: Introduction

 

Program Overview

The Berkeley-Albany YMCA Early Childhood Services Branch/Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide comprehensive child development services to children from birth to age five, pregnant women and their families. The Berkeley-Albany YMCA Head Start (BAYMCA) program offers three types of programs, serving 388 children in Head Start in both part-day, part-year and full-day, full-year programs. Early Head Start currently serves 20 pregnant and post-partum women and babies in a home-based program, and 76 infants and toddlers in mostly full-day, full-year center-based programs. BAYMCA also provides additional state preschool and child care services to eligible children/families as a contractor with the California Department of Education/Child Development Division and as a subcontractor to Emery Unified School District (State Preschool), Berkeley Unified School District (CalSAFE – child care for teen parents) and Kidango (General Child Care).

BAYMCA is one of four Head Start/Early Head Start grantees serving Alameda County, California. The county is central to the nine-county Bay Area, a region of 6.9 million people shown in Figure 1. Alameda County is one of the most densely populated and affluent counties, second only to Marin in median household income ($83,500 in 2003). The BAYMCA service area is in the northwestern portion of Alameda County on the San Francisco Bay, directly across from the county of San Francisco.

Figure 1. San Francisco Bay Area showing Alameda County

The Berkeley-Albany YMCA Head Start and Early Head Start Programs serve the cities of Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville. Geographically, the cities are situated on a low coastal plain that extends eastward from the shore of San Francisco Bay for about two miles. The border of Berkeley runs along a coastal range to the east and along Interstate 80 to the north, forming two of its boundaries within Alameda County. Emeryville, Albany and west Berkeley lie entirely within the coastal plain within a mile of the freeway edging the Bay.

The service area includes some of the oldest housing stock, and highest concentrations of low-income families in the county. Both Berkeley and Emeryville are entitlement cities that qualify for federal Community Development Block Grants and other anti-poverty, anti-blight funding.


Purpose

This 2006 community assessment provides updated demographic data and relevant community information to identify the strengths, needs, and trends that impact on the design and implementation of the Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

Specific questions addressed during this assessment process include:

  1. How many low-income, Head Start eligible children/families reside in the service area from birth to age five?
  2. Are there changes in the low-income population or demographics in the Head Start service area?
  3. Are there community trends affecting Head Start families since the last community assessment?
  4. What are the most critical needs and challenges facing the children and families in the Head Start service area?

Methodology

Berkeley-Albany YMCA Head Start contracted with independent consultants to collect and analyze data for the communities served by Head Start. Data were reviewed from a variety of sources, including the State Departments of Finance and Education, County Social Services and Health departments, as well as BAYMCA program information reports and a recent survey of Head Start parents.

Most of the data comes from published sources available online or in a draft form from the originating public agencies. Population estimates for 2005 came from the State Department of Finance using vehicle registration and driver’s license registrations. These show a slight increase in population. The State data are thought to be more accurate than census projections which showed a slight population decline in the Berkeley service area. Given the rate of new housing construction in Berkeley over the last 4 years, the State’s figures seemed more likely to be accurate.

Primary data from BAYMCA Head Start program records included: family assessments and action plans, Program Information Reports, Policy Council and Health Advisory Committee minutes and activities, as well as tracking systems for services delivered. A parent survey was disseminated to determine the needs and challenges of Head Start children and families.  Community members and parents were invited to share their perspectives and knowledge as well as to brainstorm ideas for future planning at a focus group.

Secondary sources of demographics are described by census tract, by zip code and by elementary school catchment area. While census tracts follow political boundaries, zip code 94608 covers both Oakland and Emeryville. Both communities have high numbers of children in poverty, particularly for female heads of household, and more significantly for African American women.  However, each city has its own school district. Children and families often cross school district boundaries depending upon parents’ work location, child care arrangements, or family convenience, and sense of where the child might be better enrolled. Albany and Emeryville have smaller schools, while Albany and Berkeley schools are generally perceived as better than either Oakland or Emeryville’s.

The Alameda County Child Care Planning Council released a draft of an updated report on April 29, 2006, titled: Meeting the Child Care Needs of Alameda County’s Children, while this assessment was being written. We have used its findings where appropriate, but they remain incomplete. The most current version of the child care demographics is attached in Appendix A.


Section 2: Description of Service Area

Figure 2 shows the boundaries of the Service Area served by Berkeley Albany YMCA Head Start. Berkeley, the largest community, is at the center of the Service Area. Albany lies to the northwest, and Emeryville to its southwest. There are 40 census tracts in the Service Area: 6 in Albany, 33 in Berkeley, and one in the City of Emeryville. The Service Area has an estimated population just under 130,000 people in 2005, of whom roughly 5% or 5,483 are children under the age of five.

Berkeley has a land area of 10.9 square miles, and a population estimated at 104,543 in 2005. Albany has 1.7 square miles and 16,743 people, while Emeryville is still smaller, with 1.4 square miles and 8,261 in population.  

Figure 2. Service Area Census Tracts

Source: 2000 U.S. Census

San Pablo Avenue is the western-most commercial corridor moving north-south through the Service Area. It is a state highway as well. Most of the program’s families and service centers are located on or within a quarter mile of San Pablo Avenue, as do a number of the area’s nonprofit and public offices serving low-income families. Other north-south major streets include 6th Street (west of San Pablo), and moving from west to east, are Sacramento Street, Shattuck, Oxford, and Telegraph (south of the UC Berkeley Campus). Major east/west streets, moving north from Ashby Avenue include Dwight Way, University Avenue, Cedar, and Gilman/Hopkins. University Avenue is another major commercial corridor. Most of BAYMCA facilities lie west of Sacramento Street, primarily within a few blocks of San Pablo Avenue and the I80 freeway.


City of Berkeley

By virtue of its size, Berkeley dominates the Service Area.  The total population of the City of Berkeley is 104,543. In 2000, 4.76% of the population was children under age five. That translates into an estimate of 4,986 children under the age of 5 in 2005. Sixty-four percent (64%) of children under 6 live in households headed by a single working parent or where both parents work. This is the largest proportion of the three cities.

According to the 2000 Census, almost 60% of the population of Berkeley lives in non-family households. In 2000, 18% of all households included children - 5% headed by single women. Berkeley has a low housing vacancy rate – 4.1%. Over 57% of Berkeley’s residents live in renter-occupied housing units.

Berkeley is a city very involved with and dependent upon the University of California, the prestigious campus that serves over 32,000 students in graduate and undergraduate programs. Berkeley’s strong identification with the University of California, the very high educational levels of its residents, masks a significant disparity in the economic, educational, and social needs and resources of residents of “the hills” closest to campus versus “the flatlands” where Head Start families live.

Berkeley's ethnic/racial composition varies from northeast to southwest. White families with some Asian and a very few Black and Hispanic families occupy the hills districts to the north and east, while the southwestern parts of the city are home to a larger share of Black families, but with a mix of Latino, White, and Asian families as well. African-American families with children under five are most heavily concentrated in south-west Berkeley, while Latino and Asian families with young children are somewhat more distributed in south, west, and central parts of the city.

Major employers include the University of California and Bayer Laboratories as well as the city and school district.


City of Albany

The City of Albany is located in the northernmost part of Alameda County and borders the cities of Berkeley and El Cerrito. Albany is served by AC transit bus service throughout the city with a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station on the Albany-El Cerrito border. With easy access to the greater San Francisco Bay area, Albany is one of the most densely populated communities in the state. Major employers include the city and school district, Golden Gate Fields (a race track), and Target, a discount retail store.

Of the 16,743 people who lived in Albany in 2005, we estimate 1,217 are children under age 5, based on the percent found in the 2000 census (7.26%). The majority require child care, as 56% of children under six live in homes headed by a single working parent or have both parents working.

With only a 3% vacancy rate in housing, slightly over half of the households in Albany are owner occupied.

Albany is home to UC Village, married student housing for the University of California and one of the most low-income census tracts in the service area. The University reports that an additional 250 family housing units will be added in the next year, of which half are expected to include one or more children under age 5.  


City of Emeryville

Emeryville is a thriving community located in the north and western part of Alameda County with easy access to major interstates, AC Transit and BART. For more than 100 years Emeryville has been a commercial center with a strong manufacturing base. Recently, rejuvenated warehouses and factories have attracted a vibrant arts community as well as upscale city dwellers that have changed the cultural and economic dynamics. A new mall, theaters, restaurants, hotels, and shopping are drawing people from all over the East Bay . This new development contrasts sharply with the older, low-income residences of the historic north end of the city.

In 2005, there were 8,261 persons living in Emeryville, and 4.59% (380) are estimated to be under the age of 5. Of children under 6, 42% live in homes headed by a single working parent, or where both parents work.

In 2000, there were about 3,975 households, only 11% of which have children under 18 years. Almost 71% of the residents of Emeryville are in non-family households. With a 93% occupancy rate, almost 63% of the population lives in renter occupied housing units. Although median household income has been rising in Emeryville, a significant proportion of the city’s households still fall in the low and very low-income categories.


Section 3: Demographics

Population & Race

The Service Area has nearly 130,000 residents. According to the California Department of Finance estimates, the population of the Service Area experienced an overall increase of 2.76% since the 2000 census.  

These estimates (based on vehicle registrations) follow a period of almost no growth between 1990 and 2000, and a long-term decline in Berkeley between 1980 and 1990. Emeryville actually increased population by 20% since 2000, as a result of rapid multi-family housing and condominium construction. Albany was largely stable over the same time, with some recent increase in housing production both from private developers and the University of California.

 

Table 1. Population and Population Increase in 2000 and 2005.

 

Albany

Berkeley

Emeryville

 

 

% Increase

 

% Increase

 

% Increase

2000 Population – Census

16,444

 

102,743

 

6,882

 

2005 Population estimate *

16,743

1.82%

104,543

1.74%

8,261

20.03%

Source: 2000 Census; and 2006 California State Dept. of Finance (DOF)

The area is quite diverse, with non-Hispanic whites accounting for less than 60% of the total population in 2000.

The table below uses percentage of ethnic groups from the 2000 census, applied to 2005 population estimates from the state Department of Finance.  

Table 2. Population by Race in 2005.

 

Albany

Berkeley

Emeryville

Service Area

 

 

%*

 

%*

 

%*

 

%*

2005 Population estimate

 

16,743

 

100%

 

104,543

100%

   8,261

 

100%

129,547

100.0%

American Indian/Alaska Native

104

1%

455

.4%

54

1%

613

0.5%

Asian

4,323

26%

16,950

16%

2,127

26%

23,400

18.1%

Black/African American

649

4%

14,127

14%

1,630

20%

16,406

12.7%

Hispanic or Latino

1,304

8%

10,205

10%

732

9%

12,241

9.4%

Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

86

1%

164

.2%

34

.4%

284

0.2%

White

10,274

61%

61,849

59%

3,713

45%

75,836

58.5%

Other race

537

3%

4,978

5%

287

4%

5,802

4.5%

Two or more races

855

5%

6,009

6%

417

5%

7,281

5.6%


















Source: 2000 Census; and 2006 California State Dept. of Finance Population Estimates by City

* Percent by race is maintained from 2000 Census; racial/ethnic population change not available at city level.


Births

The number of births seems to have stabilized in the Service Area since the last Community Assessment. Birth rates have been relatively stable in the last four years (2000-2003) after a sharp decline between 1989 and 1999. Births averaged 1,207 per year versus 1,141 in 1999 (the lowest year of the previous decade). Birth rates are slightly higher in Albany than the other two cities, possibly reflecting the attractiveness of its schools for young families.

Table 3.  Number of births and birth rate in the Service Area, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003

 

Number of births

Population

Birth rate (per 1,000)

2000

 

 

 

Albany

202

16,505

12.2

Berkeley

891

103,014

8.6

Emeryville

75

 7,046

10.6

Total

1168

126,565

9.2

2001

 

 

 

Albany

228

16,690

13.7

Berkeley

971

104,136

9.3

Emeryville

64

7,267

8.8

 Total

1263

128,093

9.9

2002

 

 

 

Albany

230

16,726

13.8

Berkeley

869

104,315

8.3

Emeryville

82

7,397

11.1

 Total

1181

128,438

9.2

2003

 

 

 

Albany

230

16,716

13.8

Berkeley

909

104,190

8.7

Emeryville

78

7,585

10.3

Total

1217

128,491

9.5

Service Area

4,829

127,897

9.45

Source:  Alameda County Dept. of Health, Epidemiology Unit, Janet S. Brown, March, 2006.

There was a long-term 21% overall decline in the number of births in the Service Area between 1989 and 1999, with the highest decrease among Black families (41%) and the highest increase (75%) among Latino families. Overall, children under 5 in the Service Area are more likely to be of Latino or Asian heritage than in the past, with Emeryville and Albany having the most equal distribution of ethnic groups in this age range.

Table 4. Total and Average Annual Births and Birth Rates by Ethnicity, 2000-2003.

 

Total births over 4-year period

Average Annual number of births (2000-03)

Albany

 

 

White

444

111

Black or African American

28

7

Hispanic or Latino

84

21

Asian

301

75

Other/Unknown/Withheld

33

8

Total

890

223

Berkeley

 

 

White

1949

487

Black or African American

565

141

Hispanic or Latino

535

134

Asian

443

111

Other/ Unknown/ Withheld

148

37

Total

3640

910

Emeryville

 

 

White

83

21

Black or African American

70

18

Hispanic or Latino

34

9

Asian

100

25

Other/ Unknown/ Withheld

12

3

Total

299

75

Service Area

4829

1207

Source:  Alameda County Dept. of Health, Epidemiology Unit, Janet Brown, MSc., March, 2006.


Medi-Cal Births

Medi-Cal is a health insurance program for children with eligibility requirements comparable to Head-Start. Families enrolled in the Medi-Cal program have historically been an important source of “pre-qualified” children for Head Start. As Table 5 shows, currently Medi-Cal covers approximately 18% of babies born in the Service Area or an average of 218 births a year between 2000 and 2003. If trends continued to date, there should currently be at least 436 children eligible for Head Start ages 3 through 4 years old, and another 872 children aged two and under who are eligible for Early Head Start.

The number of Medi-Cal births in the Service Area appears to have stabilized. The number of Medi-Cal births had declined along with all births in the service area between 1990 and 2000. The decline in Medi-Cal (Medicaid) births was even greater than the number of births, Medi-Cal births dropped from 26% of all live births in 1990 to 16% in 2001.

Emeryville has the highest percent of Medi-Cal births. Black and Latino births are over 5 times more likely to be covered by Medi-Cal than Whites, but Asian births are 3 times more likely to be covered by Medi-Cal than Whites in all three cities. 

Table 5. Births Funded by Medi-Cal by Ethnicity, 2000-2003 & Pct of Total Births

 

Total births over 4-year period

Total Medi-Cal births over 4-year period

% Medi-Cal births

Albany

 

 

 

White

444

26

6%

Black or African American

28

9

32%

Hispanic or Latino

84

30

36%

Asian

301

54

18%

Other/Unknown/Withheld

33

3

-

Total

890

122

14%

Berkeley

 

 

 

White

1949

96

5%

Black or African American

565

255

45%

Hispanic or Latino

535

236

44%

Asian

443

80

18%

Other/ Unknown/ Withheld

148

14

9%

Total

3640

679

19%

Emeryville

 

 

 

White

83

10

12%

Black or African American

70

27

39%

Hispanic or Latino

34

15

44%

Asian

100

16

16%

Other/ Unknown/ Withheld

12

3

-

Total

299

71

24%

Service Area

4829

872

18%

Source:  Alameda County Dept. of Health, Janet Brown, MSc., March, 2006.


Elementary School Enrollment


There were 5,521 children attending public elementary school in the service area in the 2004-2005 school year. As is easily seen in Figure 3, Whites and Blacks are nearly equal (28 and 27% respectively) followed by nearly equal numbers of Latino (17%) and Asian/Filipino, and Pacific Islander (15% combined). Multiple and Other ethnic categories comprise a very significant 13.5% of the student body (the “no responses” are actually low.)

 

Figure 3. Ethnicity of Elementary School Students in Service Area

The school districts vary ethnically, with the Albany having relatively more white and Asian-American children, and Emeryville having significantly more African-American children in the school bodies.

Table 6. Elementary Enrollment by Ethnicity, 2004-2005

 

 

       Albany Unified

Berkeley Unified

Emery Unified

Service Area

 

#

%

#

%

#

%

#

%

American Indian

5

.37

6

.16

0

0

11

0.2%

Asian

449

32.99

265

7.07

45

10.90

759

13.7%

Filipino

18

1.32

24

.64

1

.24

43

0.8%

Black/African American

100

7.35

1093

29.17

273

66.10

1466

26.6%

Hispanic/Latino

147

10.80

728

19.43

65

15.73

940

17.0%

Multiple or no response

89

6.54

640

17.08

14

3.39

743

13.5%

Pacific Islander

4

.29

13

.35

1

.24

18

0.3%

White

549

40.19

978

26.10

14

3.38

1541

27.9%

Total Elem. Enrollment

1,361

100%

3,747

100%

413

100%

5521

100.0%

Source: CBEDS data, California Department of Education, 2004-2005.

The ethnic composition of these schools is strikingly different from the total population. There are several possible reasons. First, Berkeley alone has over 30 private schools serving elementary age children. Since Head Start families are more likely to use public schools, enrollment is a better way to gauge likely ethnicity of eligible children than census data. Parents from surrounding districts also juggle residency to get their children into what they consider better schools. Also, families having children tend to be more diverse than the older adult population.

 

Table 7. Comparison Total Population to Elementary Population (2004)

 

Albany Unified

Berkeley Unified

Emery Unified

 

Total Pop

Elementary

Total Pop

Elementary

Total Pop

Elementary

American Indian/Alaska Native

.6%

.4%

.3%

.3%

.7%

1%

Asian, Native HI, Pacific Island

25.8%

34.6%

16.3%

8.64%

25.7%

13.4%

Black/African American

3.7%

7.4%

13.4%

38%

19.2%

72%

Hispanic/Latino

7.8%

10.8%

9.8%

16%

8.9%

11%

Multi or other or no

4.6%

6.5%

5.2%

13%

4%

.2%

White

57.5%

40.2 %

55.2%

25%

41.5%

2%









Source: CBEDS data, California Department of Education, 2004-2005. * Census categories of race collapsed to match State Education categories.

For example, while only 19.2% of the population of Emeryville is African American, 72% of the elementary school population is African American. In Berkeley 13% of elementary students are multi-racial children compared to 5.2% of the total population. In Berkeley the total population of African Americans is 13.4% and the elementary population is 38%; Whites are 55.2% of the total population and only 25% of elementary students.

Figure 4.  Comparison of City vs. School District Ethnic Distribution


Free Lunch  Program

The federal free and reduced lunch program in the school district is an effective gauge of Head Start program eligibility. The number of Head Start eligible children ages birth to 5 years of age is assumed to be proportionally the same by year of age as those of currently enrolled kindergarten and first grade children who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program in the school district in a give year.

Applying the percent eligibility by year of age for the school districts yields an estimated 838 three and four year old children eligible for Head Start programs in the three target cities, and 1257 children up to two years old eligible for early Head Start programs. 

 

Table 8.  Head Start Eligible Children Based On Free/Reduced Lunch Counts, 2004-2005

 

Albany

Berkeley

Emeryville

Total

0 to 2 years old

119

1023

116

1257

3 and 4 year olds

79

682

77

838

TOTAL

198

1705

193

2095

Sources:  Figures derived from California Dept. of Education, 2001-2002 CBEDS and 2004-2005 CBEDS.


Cultural Diversity and Linguistic Isolation

There is some evidence of an influx of new immigrant families with young children into the Service Area. The number of “English Learners” in the public schools has increased in the Albany and Berkeley public school districts since 2000 and remained constant in Emeryville.  Approximately 14% of the public elementary school students in the service area are English Learners, up from approximately 12% in 2000.

Asian immigrants are the fastest growing group in Albany, while Latinos are the fastest growing group in Berkeley according to school enrollment data.

Table 9. Elementary School Enrollment by Major Non-English Languages Spoken 2004-2005

Albany

Berkeley

Emeryville

Top 5

# Students

% Enrollment

Top 4

# Students

% Enrollment

Top 5

# Students

% Enrollment

Mandarin

104

3.00%

Spanish

785

8.80%

Spanish

58

7.40%

Korean

90

2.60%

All other

263

3.00%

Punjabi

27

3.40%

Spanish

79

2.30%

Cantonese

38

0.40%

All other

16

2.00%

Cantonese

55

1.60%

Urdu

38

0.40%

Vietnamese

5

0.60%

All other

159

4.60%

Arabic

37

0.40%

Arabic

4

0.50%

Total

487

14.20%

Total

1,161

13.00%

Total

110

14.00%

Source: California State Department of Education, http://www.ed/data.k12.ca.us * All other is all other non-English languages

In 2000, twelve percent (1,144) of all publicly enrolled students in Berkeley were "English Learners," nine (9%) percent in Albany Unified, and 14% of the Emeryville students. The districts reported over 60 different languages spoken. Fifty-three percent (53%) spoke Spanish as their primary language. The next largest categories were Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Punjabi. (Source: CBEDS data, California Department of Education, 2000.)

In 2005, three of the top languages in the Albany School District are Asian; in Berkeley the majority (8.8%) of non-English speakers speak Spanish as is the case in Emeryville. Middle Eastern and south Asian language speakers (Urdu Punjabi, and Arabic) are now outnumbering the speakers of languages from China and Vietnam.

Maps in the 2003 Community Assessment showed where “linguistically isolated” households reside based on the 2000 Census. Although families of Asian origin live throughout Albany, Albany Village (UC Berkeley’s Family Student Housing) had the highest concentration of such households, mostly speakers of Cantonese and Mandarin, although Vietnamese, Cambodian, Japanese, and Malaysian were among the major other languages spoken. 

West Berkeley has a large proportion of Spanish-speaking households with at least one person with limited English skills. About one third of these linguistically isolated households in Berkeley and Emeryville spoke Tagalog, Hindi, Punjabi, and Arabic or other (non-Spanish, non-Asian) languages.

 

Income And Poverty

The last reliable figures on the number of children in poverty were reported in 2002.  According to this report, there were 2,072 children eligible for Head Start or Early Head Start.

Table 10. Head Start Eligible Children Birth to 5

Ages

Albany

Berkeley

Emeryville

 

Total

Infant/Toddler (Birth up to 3 years)

607

2438

180

 

Preschool  (3 and 4 years old)

580

2152

93

 

Total children under five years

1187

4590

273

 

% of Population

7%

4%

4%

 

%  of total Persons in Poverty

35%

34%

35%

 34%

Early Head Start Eligible

212

829

63

1104

Head Start Eligible

203

732

33

967

TOTAL

415

1561

96

2072

Sources: US Census, 2000; Meeting the Child Care Needs of Alameda County’s Children, 2002.

There are significant discrepancies between the 2000 Census and subsequent population estimates for 2005 that make updates on the number of children in poverty statistics unreliable at this time. One problem has been the census founded no such children under 5 in Emeryville in 2000 despite contemporary evidence to the contrary (enrollments in CalWorks, Medi-Cal, Head Start, etc.). A second problem is that the Census projected a population decline in Berkeley between 2000 and 2004, which has not been born out by state Department of Finance estimates based on actual vehicle and drivers license data and used by the public health department to calculate birth rates.

The latest 2006 data used in draft reports by the Alameda County Child Care Council appears to rely on these 2000 data; discussions and revisions are underway, but until they are resolved, we will continue to use figures from the previous county-wide child care assessment.

Families on CalWORKs are automatically eligible for Head Start. These figures contrast sharply with the numbers of children receiving public assistance five years ago in 1998.

The following Table 11 identifies those families receiving public assistance in the service area.

Table 11. Children Receiving Public Assistance by Program, 2006

Adoption Assistance

Albany

Berkeley

Emeryville

Service Area

Age 0 -2

0

2

0

2

Age 2-3

0

2

0

2

Age 3-4

0

2

0

2

Age 4-5

1

1

0

2

Total

1

7

0

8

Cal Works

Albany

Berkeley

Emeryville

Service Area

Age 0-2

14

118

21

153

Age 2-3

4

57

9

70

Age 3-4

7

64

12

83

Age 4-5

3

66

13

82

Total

28

301

54

383

Food Stamps

Albany

Berkeley

Emeryville

Service Area

Age 0-2

3

15

3

21

Age 2-3

2

15

1

18

Age 3-4

0

11

2

13

Age 4-5

0

13

0

13

Total

5

54

6

65

Foster Care

Albany

Berkeley

Emeryville

Service Area

Age 0-2

0

18

0

18

Age 2-3

0

7

0

7

Age 3-4

0

4

1

5

Age 4-5

0

6

1

7

Total

0

35

2

37

Medi-Cal

Albany

Berkeley

Emeryville

Service Area

Age 0-2

60

152

32

244

Age 2-3

32

88

14

134

Age 3-4

25

76

13

114

Age 4-5

18

58

8

84

Total

135

374

67

576

Alameda County Department of Social Services as of March, 2006

The number of children in Alameda County who are covered by CalWorks/TANF (formerly AFDC) is about half what it was in 1998. However, the numbers in both Berkeley and Emeryville have increased slightly by 62 since 2003, when the first recipients started hitting the 5-year limit on public assistance. Contributing factors for the increase in Berkeley and Emeryville may include both a slight increase in the number of affordable housing units in both cities, a decline in market rents, and the possible increase of immigrant families in their early child-bearing years. 


Section 4: Head Start Eligible Population

Eligibility Indicators

Three different formulas were used to determine potential population of low-income families with children eligible for the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. These are the percent of children under 5 identified by the census as living in families with income below the poverty level, the number of children born under the Medi-Cal program, and the percent of elementary children eligible for free or reduced lunches.

Indicator 1:  Children living in Households with Incomes Under the federal Poverty Line - According to the last substantiated report (2002), there were 2,072 children under five living in poverty in the Service Area. A more recent, but as yet preliminary report calculates only 657 children under five in poverty. This preliminary figure is unsubstantiated by other indicators below. 

Indicator 2: Free and Reduced Lunches - Based on school district data, there are an estimated 2,095 children eligible for Head Start in the Service Area. Of these 1,257 are birth to 2 years old children eligible for Early Head Start, and 838 are 3 and 4 years old eligible for the Head Start program.

Indicator 3: Medi-Cal eligibility - There are a total of 1,308 Head Start eligible children, based on the number of children born in the Service Area who were covered by Medi-Cal. Of these, 436 children are eligible for Head Start (ages 3 and 4 years old) and another 872 children are eligible for Early Head Start (birth up to 3 years old). In addition 218 pregnant women are currently eligible for Medi-Cal and additional Head Start services in the area.

bullet

 The wait list for self-identified eligible families shows most living in the 94702, 94703, and 94710 zip codes, or South and West Berkeley.

bullet

The largest number of children and the greatest concentration of children are in the neighborhood bounded by Alcatraz, Ashby, San Pablo and Sacramento in Berkeley. In 2000, there were 103 children under 5 living in poverty in Census Tract 4202.02, and they make up 85% of all the children here.

bullet

Albany Village, which provides housing for families who are students at UC Berkeley, has the second highest number of children in poverty. Ninety poor children lived here in 2003.  

bullet

The area with the highest number and greatest concentration of children overall is in South Berkeley. 


Conclusions

The number of eligible children appears to have stabilized since 2000, after a decline in birth rates in and traditional sources of eligibility (people eligible for Cal-Works) in the 1990’s. These numbers appear to have stabilized and increased slightly from a 10 year low.

BAYMCA continues to experience long-term cultural diversification of eligible children in the Service Area, both ethnically and by education. Enrollment numbers continue to grow for first generation Asian, south Asian, Middle-Eastern, as well as growing numbers of Spanish-speaking immigrants. Because of the presence of UC Berkeley, the educational background of parents in the program vary widely, but the effects of increasing immigration trends are reflected in the desire of parents for English language facility and literacy assistance, and for teachers that reflect and respect the multi-cultural traditions of the children.

Other factors affect the eligibility of children for the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The high undercount of Latino families in the 2000 census clearly affects this program. At this time approximately 31% of the families enrolled are Hispanic/Latino, many of whom are new immigrants to the United States. Many of these families did not complete the census. This is especially pertinent in South Berkeley and Emeryville where there are significant numbers of Latino families.


Section 5: Berkeley-Albany Head Start Program

 Enrollment Statistics During Program Year 2005-2006

BAYMCA provided services to 196 children in its own centers, 192 through Head Start partner agencies, and 96 Early Head Start Children and pregnant women.

bullet African Americans comprise 37% of the Head Start enrollment, 28% are Hispanic, 12% Asian. About 15% of the enrollment include Multi/bi-racial and/or unreported. The majority of unreported families are from the Middle East.
bullet Hispanic children make up 43% of the Early Head Start enrollment, followed by African-Americans at 29%; Multi/bi-racial children make up more than 10% of the enrollment in EHS.
bullet Non-English speakers comprise 50% of the Head Start program, and 72% of the Early Head Start program enrollment. 

Table 12. Head Start/Early Head Start Enrollment Demographics 2005-2006

HEAD START

 

EARLY HS

 

TOTAL PROGRAM

Black

175

36.69%

 

Black

37

29.13%

 

212

35.10%

White

23

4.82%

 

White

3

2.36%

 

26

4.30%

Hispanic

132

27.67%

 

Hispanic

55

43.31%

 

187

30.96%

Native Amer

1

0.21%

 

Native Amer

0

0.00%

 

1

0.17%

Asian

57

11.95%

 

Asian

7

5.51%

 

64

10.60%

Pacific Island

4

0.84%

 

Pacific Island

0

0.00%

 

4

0.66%

Other

13

2.73%

 

Other

1

0.79%

 

14

2.32%

Unspecified

34

7.13%

 

Unspecified

11

8.66%

 

45

7.45%

Multi

38

7.97%

 

Multi

13

10.24%

 

51

8.44%

 

477

100.00%

 

 

127

100.00%

 

604

100.00%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEAD START

 

EARLY HS

 

TOTAL PROGRAM

English

238

49.58%

 

English

37

27.61%

 

275

44.79%

Spanish

132

27.50%

 

Spanish

53

39.55%

 

185

30.13%

Unreported

45

9.38%

 

Unreported

39

29.10%

 

84

13.68%

Other

65

13.54%

 

Other

5

3.73%

 

70

11.40%

 

480

100.00%

 

 

134

100.00%

 

614

100.00%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Non-English

55.21%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (Total language count may reflect more than enrolled/terminated, if family listed more than 1 primary language).

While operating at full capacity, BAYMCA maintains a waitlist of families who self-identify as eligible for Head Start. It also has access to a list of families in the service area who are eligible for state subsidy. As of May 2006 there were 150+ children on the Early Head Start waitlist and 106 on the Head Start waitlist.


Head Start Parent Survey

BAYMCA administered its annual Parent Survey in the spring of 2006. There were good results from 164 surveys returned (51% of those sent out) to the local centers operated directly by the agency. The Berkeley Unified School District Child Care partner, sent out and analyzed their own survey (n=223 families, including Head Start and non-Head Start families enrolled in state funded Child Development programs).

bullet Most families found out about the program because they live in the neighborhood (46% of respondents) or were referred by friend/relative (22%)
bullet
Reasons families choose our program:
bullet Location (37% of respondents)
bullet Free/low cost (35%)
bullet Child development/Socialization (34%)
bullet
Community trends of greatest concern to families:
bullet Crime/community violence (59% of respondents)
bullet Housing (37%)
bullet Education/Lack of Child Care (34%)
bullet
Family challenges include:
bullet Getting younger child into program (EHS)
bullet Finding work
bullet Housing, food, transportation
bullet 99% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with overall quality of program, and felt their children were safe and happy.
bullet Over half parents attend parent meetings.
bullet 29% of families have moved in past year at least 1 time; 12% moved 3+ times.

Several of these trends and challenges are addressed in greater detail in Sections 6 and 7, specifically lack of child care, particularly for younger children; housing, and community violence. Appendix B contains a full summary of the Parent Survey results.

Section 6: Child Care Services - Demand and Supply

Northern Alameda County has a variety of resources and providers of early childhood, child care and child development services. The child care delivery system consists of the following types of care: Licensed Family Child Care, Licensed Center Based Care and Exempt Care, which allows for one person to care for one family of children without being required to have a Family Child Care license.

Preliminary analysis provided to the Alameda County Child Care Planning Council (See Appendix A) finds a continued shortfall of infant care, and an over-supply of unsubsidized pre-school spaces relative to demand. (The analysis does not include demand for at-home residence care, which is quite high in its own right). The overall findings are still in question, however, because they rely on 2000 Census data and population estimates that have been proven unreliable in regards to the low-income and immigrant population served by Head Start.

The economic reality of working families continues to reflect a need for full day subsidized child care. As noted, a majority of families in the Service Area need some kind of child care because both parents work. The cost of child care remains prohibitive for many working families. In 2003, the average annual cost of child care for one preschooler and one infant was over $15,600 a year, or 35% of the Berkeley median income of $44, 671. In Albany the cost was 39% of the median income ($40,527) and in Emeryville 37% (of $42,305).  

Head Start is one of many types of child care and development programs available to low income families in Alameda County. The Albany and Berkeley Unified School Districts both have contracts with the California Department of Education/Child Development Division (CDE/CDD) to provide subsidized child care and child development services - both full and part day programs. 

 

Other public and private agencies with CDE/CDD contracts provide subsidized child care. BANANAS, the local resource and referral agency has a long-standing reputation for working with the most current issues and problems in the local child care community. BANANAS also offers provider development, information for parents/families, training classes, as well as subsidies through their “alternative payment” program. This program offers vouchers to eligible low-income parents to use at a child care center or family child care home of their choice. All of the subsidized programs and providers have extensive wait lists. 


Parental choice is the cornerstone of all child care subsidies under the Department Of Social Services CalWORKS program. A parent may choose whichever form of care they feel is best suited for their child, and may also choose to blend child care options, such as an exempt care provider with Head Start or State Preschool programs. Subsidy for child care services can be made to all three types of care through a vender voucher program called Alternative Payment. Use of part time and full time services is available based on the need of the family. 

 

Other Subsidized Child Care Programs

As noted above, BAYMCA directly operates centers that serve 196 children in Head Start and 76 in Early Head Start (center-based enrollment), and also oversees contracts for another 192 children through Head Start partner agencies. 

The following table identifies other programs in the service area that offer care subsidized by the California Department of Education, and the number of children which are also eligible for Head Start services, as of 2003:

Table 13. Other Agencies Providing Subsidized Child Care Services.

 

Birth to 2
Year Olds

3 to 5
Year Olds

Early/Head Start Eligible

Albany Unified School District

 0

96

48

BALDCOA/Family Child Care

N/A

60

N/A

Berkeley Unified School District

0

268

144

Centro Vida

20

40

N/A

Emeryville Child Development Center

12

45

20

Ephesian Children’s Center

0

15

0

St. John’s

45

0

12

UC Berkeley

65

44

20

Totals

205

523

244

N/A data not available at time of report.

While there are other programs serving low-income children in child care in the service area, most of the programs serve children who meet the state eligibility for low income that significantly exceeds that of Head Start. As Table 14 indicates, there are 523 subsidized slots for preschool age children and only 205 for infants and toddlers. Infant and toddler care has been a priority area for the Alameda County Child Care Planning Council and any future child development funding for the county.


Children with Disabilities

 

The following table shows the number of children ages 3 to 5 with diagnosed disabilities in the Service Area, as reported by the California Department of Education.

 

Table 14. Special Education Enrollment by Age and Type of Disability, 2004. (3, 4 and 5-year olds)

 

Albany

Berkeley

Emeryville

Disability Category

 

 

 

Mental Retardation

0

1

0

Hard of Hearing

0

0

0

Deaf

0

1

0

Speech/Language Impairment

23

50

7

Visual impairment

0

2

0

Emotional Disturbance

0

0

0

Orthopedic Impairment

1

1

0

Other Health Impairment

0

6

0

Specific Learning Disability

0

1

0

Deaf-Blindness

0

0

0

Multiple disability

0

0

0

Autism

2

7

1

Traumatic Brain Injury

0

0

0

Total

26

67

8

Because of the small numbers involved, the figures are considered by staff to be relatively unreliable as predictors from year to year of the need for Special Education services. There is no way to determine long-range trends, because the population of children with specific types of disabilities is so small within the service area and is unlikely to be affected by shifts in the income or ethnicity of Service Area families.

Berkeley Unified School District mirrors the nation in the make-up of special education students. A higher number of African American students receive special education services in proportion to the total population and this number increases greatly by age. White students are more likely to be diagnosed early, before age five. Their numbers remain steady and then decrease as they get older. White students seem to receive the benefit of early intervention services while African American children enter the system in greater numbers, as they get older, thus missing out on the benefits of prevention and early intervention. 

Head Start fills a critical need for early assessment services to these children, to prevent the effects of long-term involvement in special education or the possibility of not participating in mainstream education. BAYMCA continues to have close relationships with regional and local referral agencies. Head Start staff helps families access needed assessment and services. Written interagency agreements between the Head Start programs, the Special Education Local Plan Area and the Regional Center of the East Bay are reviewed and renewed annually. Head Start staff participates in meetings with school district and Regional Center staff on a regular basis. Shared training opportunities have also been implemented since the last Assessment.

A number of agencies provide services to children with disabilities in Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville. For children birth to age three with disabilities, the Regional Center of the East Bay is the local Part C provider and primary referral agency. They are responsible for assessing and arranging for services if needed. Agencies providing services to infants, toddlers and preschool aged children including: Alta Bates Hospital, Children’s Hospital-Oakland, the Center for Early Intervention on Deafness (CEID), the Center for Communication Disorders, Through the Looking Glass, Bananas Resource and Referral Agency and West Coast Children’s Center. The Special Education Local Planning Area for Northern Alameda County consists of five school districts: Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville, Piedmont and Alameda. Special education and early intervention services are provided to children who meet the eligibility criteria from birth to age five. Berkeley Unified School district assigns special education staff to Head Start sites to provide services when necessary and/or parents bring their children to a local elementary school for services. Children may also attend inclusive special education programs co-located at Head Start partner sites in both Berkeley and Albany.

 

According to the Regional Center of the East Bay, the Part C Provider for Alameda County, there are approximately 50 infants and toddlers who are eligible for their services.

 

Section 7: Community Conditions And Trends

Berkeley's Health Status Report in 1999 reflected major and startling disparities in age of mortality and presence of chronic illness by ethnic group, neighborhood, and economic resources. No comparable figures have been produced since then. At that time, roughly 10,000 Berkeley residents, including 4,000 children, lacked health insurance, according to the Mayor's Task Force on the Uninsured. Most of these children live in West and South Berkeley. A large number of uninsured children and their families suffer from chronic illness and use emergency rooms as their primary source of care. Many of these children do not receive proper immunizations and experience prolonged school absences. Pregnant mothers without insurance are less likely to receive prenatal care. Children born to mothers without prenatal care are more likely to have low birth weight and later possible learning disabilities.[1]

Alameda County Health Department sources report no major changes in infant death rates, low-birth weight infants, or asthma rates since 2000. Babies born with low-birth weights still remain above the state average of 6.1% at 7.1%. Alameda County has one of the highest rates of anemia for children under the age of five. There has been a rash of teen pregnancies in the past few months. Whether this will remain an actual trend or just a one-time occurrence will need to be determined. Since the YMCA provides child care for teen parents in conjunction with Early Head Start, there is now a wait list of 19 children of teen parents for fall 2006. There were only 6 children in 2005-06.

The City of Berkeley is fortunate to have its own health department. Health Department staff meets regularly with Head Start staff, participates in the Health Advisory Committee, and provides professional and technical assistance when needed. Coordination with the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program for those families who need the services is available and easily accessed. Head Start, WIC and the Berkeley Health Department are working together to address the issues of anemia and other nutrition-related concerns affecting young children.


The City of Berkeley offers numerous resources for health care by providers who are culturally competent and reflect the cultures and languages of the families served by the program. The University of California, School of Optometry provides vision screening to all Head Start and Early Head Start children, follow-up examinations and free glasses when necessary. Berkeley-Albany YMCA Head Start has been participating in the Vision in Preschoolers Study, a national research study to identify vision problems in preschool age children and train paraprofessionals such as Head Start parents to administer the screening tools. Two Head Start parents are now working for the project.

 

California State University East Bay provides hearing screenings for Head Start/Early Head Start. The Berkeley Dental Society has helped solicit community dentists to complete dental exams for all of the Head Start children. Several dentists have offered ongoing follow up and treatment for the children as well.

 

Asthma

As one of the most common chronic conditions in children, asthma is a leading cause of school absences and hospital admissions for children. The hospitalization rate for African American adults and children remains very high, in part because of lack of health of insurance. Asthma and bronchial distress are increasing and has become a growing area of concern to the Berkeley Health Department. Nationally this type of illness has been rising. West Berkeley, because of the I80 freeway, San Pablo Avenue traffic, and certain industrial plants, has high levels of particulate matter than can aggravate asthma and other lung ailments. According to epidemiologists at the County Health Department, the BAYMCA service area is one with high rates of asthma hospitalization. Based upon the Head Start/Early Head Start Program Information Report, approximately 12% of enrolled children have asthma.

Table 15. Asthma Hospitalizations by Zip Code, 2001-2003

 

Ages 1-4 years

Under 1 year old

 

Service Area Zip Codes

3-Year
Count

Annual
Avg

2002
Pop'n

Rate per
100,000

3-Year
Count

Annual
Avg

2002
Pop'n

Rate per
100,000

Asthma Hosp Total Count All Ages

94608

12

20.7

1116

1852

62

4.0

306

1308

280

94609

16

17.7

889

1986

53

5.3

238

2239

230

94702

7

8.0

663

1207

24

2.3

175

1336

115

94703

2

11.3

823

1377

34

0.7

221

301

105

94704

2

1.3

212

628

4

0.7

55

1216

22

94705

3

1.3

401

332

4

1.0

105

956

20

94706

1

4.3

654

663

13

0.3

152

219

33

94707

1

3.0

498

602

9

0.3

121

276

18

94708

0

3.0

382

786

9

0.0

107

0

20

94709

0

0.7

198

337

2

0.0

58

0

9

94710

5

5.3

531

1004

16

1.7

142

1173

37

Alameda County

362

562.3

81,391

691

1687

120.7

19989

604

6871

Source: Alameda County Health Dept, 2006. Note: 94608 zip code consists predominately of Oakland households as well as Emeryville.

Infant Mortality

The infant mortality rate in Berkeley is lower than that of Alameda County, the state of California and the Healthy People 2000 Objective of 7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. Since 1996, the infant mortality rate has decreased steadily from 8.3 infant deaths per 1,000 live births to 3.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 1998. No significant changes in infant mortality have been identified by the County Health Department since then.

 

Low Birth Weight (LBW) Infants

The city of Berkeley ranks among the five health jurisdictions in the state of California with the highest proportion of LBW infants, slightly behind Alameda County (7%) and tied with San Francisco (6.8%). The Healthy People 2000 Objective for LBW is no more than 5% of total births. Since 1990, the proportion of low birth weight infants was at its lowest in 1992 in Berkeley at 6.3% of births.

The proportion of LBW infants in Berkeley varies by mother’s race/ethnicity. Berkeley had the third highest proportion of LBW births among African American infants in the entire United States. While LBW infants born to African American women have declined slowly from a high of 16.7% of births in 1994 to 14.5% of births in 1997, the racial disparity between Whites and African Americans for this health indicator is significant. In 1997, the percentage of LBW infants to Whites was 5.6%; to African Americans was 14.5%.

bullet Low birth weight infants born to Asian and Pacific Islander mothers have increased from 3.4% of births to 8.7% of births;
bullet The percentage of LBW infants born to Hispanic women has remained fairly constant since 1994, and was 4.5% of births in 1998. This is lower than the Healthy People 2000 Objective of no more than 5% of births. 

 

The City of Berkeley Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Program has taken significant steps to identify the etiology of LBW in Berkeley and to address the issue in the community and in Public Health programs and services. BAYMCA has developed an agreement with the City of Berkeley Black Infant Health program to jointly serve pregnant women.


Hunger

In the Bay Area as a whole, changes in welfare and food stamp eligibility have dramatically reduced the numbers of people enrolled in support programs, and Bay Area soup kitchens in general report rising usage, but hunger in children and families are not easily tracked by these measures. The task of surveying households individually has daunted researchers from the Health Department and San Francisco State University. 

An informal survey of children’s program operators in the service area in 2001 suggested that 5 to 10% of Berkeley's low-income children go significantly hungry each day, and up to 25% skip meals regularly or depend on publicly funded programs for a daily substantial meal during the summer months. Family schedules and poor food choices seem to be as much a factor as those cases where food is absolutely lacking. Many families, across the income spectrum, no longer cook at home nor eat meals together on a regular basis. This is further complicated by poor family eating patterns and cultural messages about food and body that provoke eating disorders at all economic levels. There is a dramatic increase in obesity among children coupled with a decrease in physical inactivity that pose risks for long term health problems. A study for the Berkeley Community Fund in 2001, observed that a general climate of parental fear – of crime and traffic -- has fostered more sedentary children.


Physical Safety and Crime

Parents cite crime and violence as a major area of community concern in the 2006 BAYMCA Family Survey. Domestic violence was also mentioned in several instances.

Although the area around the UC campus and downtown have the highest incidence of crime, West and South Berkeley, and Emeryville have long been associated with high crime rates. According to the Berkeley Police Department, with 6.7 percent of the city's population, West Berkeley saw 15.5% of the city's major crime in 2003. The heavily traveled San Pablo commercial corridor and mix of low-density housing with industrial uses to the west is another factor for attracting property crimes in particular.

Between 2000 and 2005, violent crimes, except for robbery, have declined significantly in Berkeley, although it remains relatively higher in Emeryville and relatively lower in Albany. Property crimes have increased significantly from 2000 to 2005; with auto theft and burglary heading the list.

Although these most recent reports for these areas do not show a general increase in violent crime, there have been several highly publicized incidents of Berkeley teens killed accidentally on the street by gunfire or auto accident. These tragic deaths along with increased property crimes may contribute to families increased concern for safety.

Children may witness scenes of domestic violence. The Berkeley police reported 463 instances in which children were present during reported domestic violence incidents between 1997 and 1998. In 15 cases children witnessed (or may have been victims of) other kinds of family violence.[2] Staff of the Family Violence Law Center assist the children and families that are referred to them. Families enrolled in Early/Head Start program will report incidence of domestic violence to family advocates once a trusting relationship has been developed; but many indicate that they do not report to authorities.


Lead-Based Paint

Lead-based paint is the most common source of lead poisoning in children. Almost all of Berkeley’s housing, about 44,450 dwelling units out of 46,875, were built before 1980 and may contain lead-based paint. The 2000 Census shows 2,606 families with children under the age of six residing in Berkeley. According to the county Department of Health, west and south Berkeley and all of Emeryville are areas of highest risk for lead poisoning in Alameda County.  Only a handful of Head Start children have been identified as possibly showing effects of lead poisoning, however.


Housing Affordability

The scarcity of housing, along with soaring rents and housing prices has created a crisis for low and middle-income families in the Bay Area. Most Head Start eligible families are renters. Only 10% of the Berkeley population can afford to buy a home at today's median of sales price.[3]  Unless they live in rent stabilized subsidized housing, the risk of displacement runs high.  

Poor families living in stabilized subsidized housing affordable to their very low incomes are in a very different position from those who do not. New, low-skilled immigrants working at minimum wage and paying market rates also fall in this category. The high cost of living coupled with low salaries requires two-earner households and more than one job per wage earner. That creates logistical challenges for Head Start eligible families, the need for full-time child care, the juggling of transportation and commuting, or potential overcrowding or unsafe housing conditions.

A 2004 report from the Public Policy Institute of California also found that low-income children in California are more likely to move in any given year than children in other families. In the Bay Area, one in four low-income children moved in 1999.

bullet

Residential mobility was particularly high for low-income African American children in 1999 – 48% of low-income African American children changed residence.

bullet

Data from the census which measures moves within the last five years indicates particularly high mobility for foreign-born Asian and Hispanic children.

bullet

According to the Head Start Parent Survey:

bullet

Over 30% of respondents live in households of more than five people.

bullet

21% of families moved at least one in the past 12 months; 10% moved 2 or more times in the past 12 months.

The effects of such moves on young children has not been documented, however, at over a third of Head Start families in the program report housing to be one of the critical issues and challenges their community and their families face.

The availability of safe and affordable housing is a concern to Head Start families. From the 2000 Census, 30% of renters in the City of Berkeley spent 50% or more of their income on rent, compared to 23% of the renters in Emeryville and 17% in Albany. These differences reflect a variety of conditions.

Albany:  Fifty (50%) percent of the housing in Albany is multi-family. The city does not have its own housing authority or manage a Section 8 rent subsidy program. The major source of subsidized housing available in Albany is in University Village, family student housing for UC Berkeley students.

Emeryville: For Emeryville residents in low-income working households, Section 8 vouchers or certificates represent one of the few options for attaining affordable housing. According to Alameda County Housing and Community Development Department, there were 99 households with vouchers or certificates renting units in Emeryville at the end of 1999. Unfortunately, many units rented to families with Section 8 certificates or vouchers are at risk of conversion to market rate housing due to escalating real estate values.

The City of Emeryville has undergone a metamorphosis with the influx of new corporate businesses, trendy shopping areas, lofts and condominiums. This new and polished Emeryville creates a striking contrast to the long-term low-income residents who continue to struggle with the effects and circumstances of poverty.

Emeryville has 74 rental units formally designated as “affordable housing” for very low-income households. One building does have an open waitlist: Emery Bay Club and Apartments, Phase II. There are also two senior buildings with very low-income units and an open wait list. The city owns 32 public housing units eligible for Section 8 subsidy. The waitlist is closed and not expected to reopen for at least 2 years.

Several housing developments with an affordable housing component are underway in the City of Emeryville. Of 900 units under construction or in the planning stages (as of March 2006), 57 units are set aside for very low-income households (at Metropolitan Apartments at Bay Street). Interested parties are invited to get on a notification list the city maintains.

Berkeley: According to the 2000 Census, Berkeley has approximately 25,000 rental housing units out of a total of 46,875 housing units. Approximately 19,169 of the rental units are rent controlled according to length of tenure of the resident, and approximately 1,500-1,600 are rent-restricted units reserved for low-income tenants specifically. The rent restricted units include: senior housing (619 units), family units owned by nonprofits (496 units), publicly owned housing (75 units), limited equity cooperatives (130 units), the UC Hotel (74 single room occupancy units), and inclusionary units in for-profit projects (65 units).

Berkeley has 2,800 households who receive some form of rental assistance. Approximately 988 very low-income families, most of them single parents, now live in units subsidized under the federal Section 8 housing program (76% of total units). Prior to 1991, rent stabilization kept rents from increasing more rapidly than incomes.  Landlords are pulling out of the Section 8 program in great numbers. A reported loss of 400 Section 8 units to the private market since 1998 would mean that 240 low-income families with children could have been displaced from Berkeley over the past few years.[4] The highest concentrations of Berkeley's Section 8 renters live in South and West Berkeley.

Large families face particular problems because nearly all units with three or more bedrooms in Berkeley (96%) are in owner-occupied buildings with one to four units, which are not under rent control.[5]

The city of Berkeley has an ambitious goal of increasing the number of permanently affordable below-market housing units from the current 1,500 units to 8,000 units over the next 25 years, primarily by encouraging non-profit housing developers and limited equity co-ops to acquire existing rent-controlled units. In addition, the City can encourage construction of new affordable units by housing developers with limited financial support, and such tools as density bonuses and requirements. Eight thousand affordable units would house about 16% of the city’s current population. Neighborhood opposition to higher densities, and additional population, as well as higher buildings, and the high cost of properties are barriers to meeting this goal. (Source: http://www.cityofberkeley.info/planning/landuse/plans/generalPlan/housing.html)



Section 9: Conclusions and Next Steps

The economic surge of the past decade in the Bay Area is now shadowed by a changing economy, steady unemployment and a state budget in flux. The long-term effects of welfare reform are only beginning to surface. The shrinking caseloads that marked early success are now cause for reconsideration as changes in the economy make their mark and time limits for remaining on welfare are fast approaching. The tragedy of September 11, 2001 has also had a devastating effect on the economy, and the technology sector has also experienced numerous layoffs that produce a rippling effect. 

Economic and budgetary uncertainties have led to a reduction in funds for child care and other related services for the working poor. We must anticipate a bleak picture on the horizon as the number of families on CalWORKS is rising for the first time in six years. The effect on low-income children and families will be severe. The optimism for Welfare Reform’s success is now considered premature as time limits draw near and employment opportunities become scarcer.

The state indicators for child poverty present a very bleak outlook. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, one in six poor children in the United States lives in California compared to one in 10 two decades ago. The number of poor children in California has grown at a faster pace than the total number of children in the United States. The child poverty rate increased 22% from 1996-2000 while during that same time period the national poverty rate went from 19% to 18%.

The cities of Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville are greatly impacted by these trends. The increasing cost of living is forcing low-income families out of these communities and/or placing them in housing situations that can affect the health and well-being of the children. The pace and the uncertainty of these changes require Head Start and other providers to increase their collaboration and partnerships to sustain services that will meet the increasing stress on children and families.     


Key Findings

There are some key findings in this report that stand out and provide vital information for program planning:

bullet This 2006 analysis finds between 2,095 eligible children birth to age 5, as measured by the most readily available indicators.
bullet There is a continued shortfall, or gap, in the availability of full-time subsidized care to serve eligible children from birth to 2 years.
bullet TANF and Medi-Cal enrollment are no longer accurate indicators of child eligibility due to time limits for family enrollment and the higher bar for participation in these programs. TANF rates have dropped over 50% in the past five years, while economic trends have not lowered the numbers of poor children live in working families.
bullet School enrollment in free or subsidized lunch programs shows a continued strong demand for Head Start services in the Service Area despite relatively slow population growth in two of the three cities served.
bullet Birth rates are highest among the fastest growing ethnic groups in the area, specifically among Asian and Latinos. Given the steady demand for English-language assistance in the schools, the Service Area continues to attract first-generation immigrants with young children. There are growing concentrations of families from India, Pakistan, and the Middle East, as reflected in increasing diversity of Head Start and elementary school age enrollment.

In 2006, we find continued demand for Head Start services in all three communities in the Service Area. The largest concentration of poor children in our area includes portions of South Berkeley (west of Sacramento and south of Ashby) and Albany Village housing. Additional center locations in South Berkeley may better serve families in that area. South Berkeley also includes the largest percentage of linguistically isolated (monolingual Spanish Speaking) families, however, growing numbers of children in Berkeley and Emeryville are from language groups (Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, and Arabic) that are not well-represented by the staff and their current experience. 

Input from parents and community members indicate continued concern to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population with language and literacy challenges, and related impacts on the staff and overall program.

Based on the community assessment data, input from parents, Policy Council, staff, community members, and board members, the following goals and objectives have been selected for the upcoming program year:


Program Goals & Objectives for 2007-2010

The following goals were approved by the Policy Council and Board at their respective meetings on May 25, 2006.

Goal 1.  Increase services to infants and toddlers birth to age 3.

Objectives:

  1. Pursue re-allocation of Head Start to Early Head Start as possible.

  2. Seek alterative (CDE/State/First 5) funding sources for children birth to 3.
  3. Identify licensable space.
  4. Continue to provide home based services.
  5. Continue to provide Calsafe (teen parent child care) services in collaboration with BUSD and City of Berkeley .
  6. Over-enroll as possible continuing to meet funding source requirements.
  7. Identify additional partners to provide EHS/B-3 services – (e.g., Black Infant Health program).

Goal 2.  Improve family, staff and child literacy.

Objectives:      

  1. Pilot Fletcher’s Place Literacy Program, Summer 2006, for potential implementation in the fall.

  2. Develop formal partnership agreement with Berkeley Public Library to work with Children’s Librarians and Adult Literacy Program.
  3. Develop plan for new outreach personnel at BUSD and AUSD to do parent training.
  4. Continue partnering with Even Start.

  5. Continue to offer ESL, general education and early childhood classes onsite.

Goal 3. Continue to address demographic changes in the community.

Objectives:

  1. Collaborate with community-based agencies in order to fully understand changing demographics and implications.

  2. Recruit staff that reflects the ethnic and linguistic diversity of program families.
  3. Continue and enhance parent intern training program.
  4. Provide staff/parent training on cultural competence.

Goal 4.  Collaborate with community groups and families to address the issues of domestic and community violence.

Objectives:

  1. Continue to participate with City of Berkeley and other community agencies meeting re: community violence.

  2. Identify strategies for staff/families for “self-protection.”
  3. Provide training for staff around dynamics of violence, community resources, and supporting parents.

  4. Provide training, guest speakers and support for parents.
  5. Identify a community-based or Head Start initiated project families chose to be involved in.

Goal 5.  Participate in Preschool for All efforts in Alameda County.

Objectives:

  1. Continue to actively participate in PFA planning efforts.

  2. Provide information and training to staff and parents.

The above goals and objectives will serve as the cornerstone for program planning to address the needs of Head Start children and families in the service area. The information compiled in this report will also assist the Head Start Program and their partners to better collaborate in implementing programs and services.   


Sources:

Alameda County Department of Social Services, February 2003.

Alameda County Department of Social Services, March 2006.

Alameda County Department of Health, Epidemiology Unit, Janet Brown, 2006.

Bay Area Economics, 2006. Meeting the Child Care Needs of Alameda County’s Children. Oakland: Alameda County Child Care Planning Council. DRAFT

Berkeley General Plan Update 2003.  Housing Element.  http://www.cityofberkeley.info/planning/landuse/plans/generalPlan/housing.html

Berkeley Health Department, Berkeley Health Status Report, 1999.

Berkeley Policy Associates (2002). Meeting the Child Care Needs of Alameda County’s Children. Oakland: Alameda County Child Care Planning Council.

California Department of Education. CBEDS data, 2001-2002. www.cde.ca.gov; 2004-2005.

California Department of Finance, 2005 populations estimates by city.

City of Berkeley, Housing Department, Consolidated Housing Action Strategy.

City of Emeryville website  http://www.ci.emeryville.ca.us/econdev/housing_affordable.html; and http://www.ci.emeryville.ca.us/econdev/housing_livework.html

“Crime in Berkeley” memo from City Manager Phil Kamlarz to Berkeley City Council, Feb. 21, 2006.  See: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/citycouncil/2006citycouncil/packet/022106

Due, L. (2000) Fear Itself, Raising Kids in an Age of Anxiety. East Bay Weekly. Dec. 15, 2000.

Heimpel, Duni, “Rising Property Prices and High Crime Rates Contribute to an Exodus of Black Residents” Daily Californian, Monday, November 29, 2004

Morris, Elizabeth W. (2001). Foundations of Hope: Resources and Opportunities for Berkeley Children Ages 5-11. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Community Foundation.

Reed, Deborah with Bailey, Amanda (2002). California’s Young Children: Demographic, Social, and Economic Conditions.” Public Policy Institute of California.

U.S. Census 2000. PL 94-171, March 2001 and DP-1, May 2001.

 


APPENDIX A – Child Care Assessment

Bay Area Economics, 2006. Meeting the Child Care Needs of Alameda County’s Children. Oakland: Alameda County Child Care Planning Council.  

 

APPENDIX B - BAYMCA Head Start Parent Survey Results, 2006

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[1] Doreen Moreno, Cal Neighbors, Winter 2001.  "Berkeley campaign promotes access to health coverage."

[2] Berkeley Health Status Report, op cit, p. 155.

[3] Berkeley Planning Dept. General Plan Draft Housing Element, 2000.

[4] Trends and Conditions, 1993, and General Plan Draft Housing Element 2000.

[5] Trends and Conditions, 1993.

 


Center for Community Futures. www.cencomfut.com 
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