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Child Care and Early Education Glossary

The child care & early education glossary defines terms used to describe aspects of child care and early education practice and policy; the research glossary defines terms used in conducting social science and policy research, for example those describing methods, measurements, statistical procedures, and other aspects of research.

The emotional and psychological bond between a child and adult, typically a parent or caregiver, that contributes to the child’s sense of security and safety. It is believed that secure attachment leads to psychological well-being and Resilience throughout the child's lifetime and is considered a key predictor of positive Child Development and learning.
Best Practices
A term used to denote the "best" ways of delivering services, supports or information to achieve desired outcomes as determined by research or experience. See related: Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP); Evidence-based Practice.
Refers to an individual who can speak two languages with similar or equal proficiency. In the U.S., bilingual education refers to instruction given in English, as well as another language, with the goal of attaining proficiency and mastery in both languages. See related: English Language Learner (ELL); Limited English Speaking/Limited English Proficiency (LEP); Dual Language Learner (DLL).
Blended Funding
A Financing Strategy that combines funding sources to pay for an integrated set of program services to a group of children. With blended funding, costs do not have to be allocated and tracked by the individual funding source. Compare with: Braided Funding; Layered Funding.
Braided Funding
A Financing Strategy used to coordinate funds from two or more sources to support the total cost of integrated services for individual children. With braided funding, costs must be attributed and tracked by the particular funding stream. Cost allocation methods are required to assure that there are no duplicate funding of service costs and that each funding source is charged its fair share of program and administrative costs. Compare with: Blended Funding; Layered Funding.
Career Ladder/Lattice
A metaphor, often accompanied by a pictorial representation, for job or career progression. Career ladders/lattices typically includes descriptions of the required skills, Credentials and degrees required to advance one's career or move from one related position to another. See related: Career Pathway.
Career Pathway
A progression of educational qualifications, Credentials and training that build upon one another and enable early childhood practitioners to advance in their careers. Career pathways can be flexible, with multiple entry and exit points, to allow the Workforce, made up of diverse learners and non-traditional students, to acquire the necessary career-related skills and knowledge. Career pathways allow individuals to move along or within a Career Ladder/Lattice.
Center Based Child Care
Child care provided in nonresidential group settings, such as within public or private schools, churches, preschools, day care centers, or nursery schools. See related: Community Cased Child Care/Community Based Organization (CBO).
Certification (Staff)
The process by which an individual or institution attests to or is shown to have met a prescribed standard or set of standards.
Child Care Access
Refers to the ability for families to find quality Child Care Arrangements that satisfy their preferences, with reasonable effort and at an affordable price. See related: Child Care Availability.
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