This study reports data from a multisite study of typical center-based child care and children’s development regarding (a) associations among quality of care defined by structural features, process indicators, and compliance with state regulations, (b) variation in quality based on the stringency of state child care regulations and center compliance, and (c) specific quality indicators that show especially strong links to children’s experiences in child care. Findings confirmed prior evidence regarding the importance of ratios, teacher training, and group size for high quality classroom processes, but demonstrated the more significant contribution of teacher wages and parent fees. Both structural and process measures of quality varied with the location of the center in a state with more or less stringent child care regulations. The results indicate the importance of incorporating economic and regulatory considerations into future studies of childcare quality. (author abstract)
Within and beyond the classroom door: Assessing quality in child care centers
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