DEC Comments on Proposed Modifications to the 2017 National Survey of Children’s Health [NSCH]

May 11, 2017


On May 11th, DEC provided comment on proposed modifications to the 2017 National Survey of Children’s Health [NSCH]. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is proposing to delete from the 2017 NSCH a question on whether children have experienced suspension or expulsion from child care or preschool. A number of organizations are writing letters to urge HHS to retain this question in its survey. 


DEC strongly opposes removal of this question as it would eliminate a critical opportunity to obtain nationally representative data on the incidence of child care and preschool suspensions and expulsions from a parental perspective as well as across a multitude of early childhood settings. 



The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is proposing eliminating this question, because “[s]ponsorship of this item [by the Administration for Children and Families] is no longer anticipated, nor does this item address an identified analytic need.” This is the only item HHS is proposing to remove from the survey.


The NSCH is an important tool to obtain data on preschool expulsion from a representative pool of families who may use a range of child care and preschool settings. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights collects data on preschool expulsions but that is limited to preschools operated by public schools and therefore does not provide information on the incidence of preschool expulsions or suspensions in other early childhood settings.


Read the full comment here.

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