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Advocating for High Quality Early Care and Education

New for 2018: a series of weekly posts sharing the "how" and "why" of what we do at Kinder Beginnings.

While reflecting on a recently taken class about providing high quality care in Ohio, one recommendation stood out as an area for improvement: that Early Childhood Professionals must advocate for high quality care by sharing with the community what that is and why it is important.

What designates quality in early care and education programs?

The basic components are:

Health and Safety – The environment is safe and has rules in place in order to provide a foundation of health and safety. Proper procedures are in place and followed for hand washing, personal hygiene, nutrition, and sanitation. Positive Relationships – Strong connections are formed between teachers, children, and their families. Responsive relationships with consistent caregivers help children develop critical social and emotional skills. Children have opportunities to interact with peers, teachers, and the community. Learning Experiences – Routines are predictable but flexible in order to meet each child’s needs. Children have opportunities for experiences that are appropriate for their age and skill level. Children are engaged in a variety of activities, following their own interests and choosing their own materials and playmates.

Why is quality important?

90% of a child’s brain is developed before Kindergarten. High quality early care and education supports the development of cognitive and language skills. Children in high quality care also benefit from improved social and emotional abilities.

High quality programs are beneficial to the enrolled families, as well as the community. With high quality care, families and teachers are more likely to be partners in supporting the children’s development. Families tend to be more satisfied with the care their children are receiving, and are less likely to have work affected by child care issues. Communities benefit from high quality programs by promoting partnerships that support the growth of strong, healthy children. Local businesses also benefit from reduced absenteeism when their employees’ children have reliable care. High quality programs build a community that values children.

Our first #WhatWeDo post will be shared this week! Comments on these posts are welcome and encouraged - please ask questions, give suggestions for topics, and feel free to share. The ultimate goal is to engage the community in discussion about early childhood education and quality care.

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