Research indicates that children who receive a high quality childhood education have better math, language and social skills as they enter school, and as they grow older require less special education, progress further in school, have fewer interactions with the justice system and have higher earnings as adults.
Several research studies have found that high quality schools have certain characteristics in common. These characteristics can help parents make better child care choices for their children because they indicate a much greater likelihood of high quality school. Quality indicators measure the conditions that generally foster a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment for children. They are:
- Low child/teacher ratios
- Small group size
- Staff with higher education & on-going training
- Prior experience and education of the director
- Low teacher turnover Positive teacher/child interactions
- Age appropriate activities
- Good health & safety practices
Low ratios and low turnover allow teachers to respond to the individual needs of children, to give each child ample attention and to create a strong bond, adding to the child’s security. Higher education helps staff and directors understand the needs and development of young children, which helps teachers plan activities for children and interact with them in developmentally appropriate ways. Well-compensated teachers with good benefits change jobs with less frequency, lowering turnover and increasing opportunities for children to create attachments and build relationships.