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Money matters for early education: The relationships among child care quality, teacher characteristics, and subsidy status


Child care is the first out-of-home learning opportunity for many children. For low-income children, a high-quality child care placement can provide many of the experiences and skills that help build a foundation for later school success. Among the many measures of child care quality, some closely linked to later success in school are those assessing learning activities and children's opportunities to develop language and reasoning skills. Previous research in this area reveals that teacher characteristics such as education and wages are related to child care quality. However, there is less research on how funding streams, such as the federal child care subsidy program, influence child care quality. Using a sample from the Delaware (USA) Early Care and Education Baseline Quality Study, regression analysis was used to examine the relationships among teacher characteristics, program subsidy status, and the quality of care as defined by measures of language and reasoning and learning activities. The results indicate a relationship between child care quality and program subsidy status: Programs that do not accept subsidy funds are more likely to offer high-quality programming in language and reasoning activities that have a positive impact on children's development and school readiness. (author abstract)

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Reports & Papers
United States
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