What is a Quality Center?
Being informed and knowing what to look for will help you make the best selection for your child
Aren’t all licensed programs “high quality”?
Licensing is about safety, not education. Licensed and regulated centers, along with family home providers, are required to maintain a minimum set of health, safety and training standards. A center could meet all licensing standards and do very little in the way of child development.
“Accredited” child care centers, preschools and family care homes are those that have gone beyond the minimum licensing standards and have voluntarily met the standards set by national childcare organizations. These standards often include professional development requirements, child development training and positive discipline programs.
What characteristics make a center high-quality?
• Low staff-child ratio
• Well-trained teaching staff with degrees in early childhood education
• Developmentally appropriate curriculum and learning experiences
• Focus on social-emotional growth
• Strong parent involvement
• Warm, positive interactions between teachers and children
• Happy buzz of activity—neither too quiet nor too loud
• Child-focused environment where the child is given choices
• Wide variety of materials available and accessible to children
• Play—including dramatic play, blocks, active outdoor play—integrated into topics of study
• Teachers who use positive speech and are loving and responsive to a child
• Effective administration
• Nutritious meals and snacks