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External Resources, Resources | | Center For American Progress

Quality 101: Identifying the Core Components of a High-Quality Early Childhood Program

The need for high-quality early childhood education has never been greater. Increasingly, children are growing up in families where all available parents are working—out of necessity as well as choice. Furthermore, research continues to affirm the short- and long-term benefits for children who participate in high-quality early learning programs. However, parents face significant barriers when searching for high-quality care. Waitlists are long and employers are inflexible, high-quality programs are expensive, and parents often lack the necessary tools to evaluate program quality. Many families live in child care “deserts,” and even when programs are available, quality is not well-regulated or supported by local, state, or federal policies, putting it out of reach for most families.

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