Quality In Child Care and Development
The social, emotional and cognitive development of as many as 12 million children under the age of six is dependent on their access to safe, reliable child care that provides them with the opportunity to form stable relationships with caring adults and other children and to engage in interesting and stimulating activities. Such good quality child care is strongly linked to school achievement and the development of social skills that enable a child to grow into a happy, productive adult. Such child care has been used successfully to prepare at-risk children for school while poor quality child care can harm children. Their intellectual and social development can be stunted. In extreme cases, children have been harmed physically.
Good Quality Child Care: A Dramatic Opportunity to Promote Learning and Prevent Damage in Our Youngest Children, Child Care Action Campaign, 1996
The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) and its National Child Day Care Task Force, established in 1986, are committed to improving the quality of child day care services for all children. To accomplish this objective, CWLA has been setting standards and improving practice since its formation in 1920. It has also been prominent in advocating for better federal policies and adequate funding to ensure a comprehensive child day care delivery system that is accessible and affordable to all parents and that is of high quality.
All child day care programs, regardless of their auspices, purposes, or service recipients, should have the same essential components. All children have the same basic developmental needs; they should all have the opportunity to benefit from advances in knowledge and professional skills in the fields of child development, early childhood education, health care, nutrition, and social work. Regardless of the emphasis of a given child day care program, the reasons parents use it, or the number of hours children attend it, the children should have developmentally appropriate experiences. Any child day care service designed to help parents carry out their child-rearing responsibilities should support and enhance their parental role. The child day care service should be appropriate to the individual needs of each child it serves.
A voluntary, peer-reviewed accreditation process has been seen as one way to improve the quality of child care services. CWLA has worked closely with the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children (COA) to:
Introduction, Standards of Excellence For Child Day Care Services, Child Welfare League of America, 1992
Click here to learn more about the Council on Accreditation.
- revise the COA Standards for Child Care Services to reflect current practice for quality services;
- encourage state child care administrations to recognize the COA accreditation for higher reimbursement policies and contract requirements; and
- advocate state child care policies that provide incentives for child care programs to become accredited
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