These distributions suggested to the investigators that care is “neither outstanding nor terrible, but plenty of room for improvement [remains]

These distributions suggested to the investigators that care is “neither outstanding nor terrible, but plenty of room for improvement [remains]

150 150 Markus

These distributions suggested to the investigators that care is “neither outstanding nor terrible, but plenty of room for improvement [remains]

There is a similar failure to meet recommended group size standards, with 20 states having no regulations pertaining to group size

2 This stratification was needed because the NICHD investigators determined that variations in process quality were associated with these three factors. Based on the numbers of children of particular ages using specific different types of care, positive caregiving was estimated to be of poor quality for 8 percent of children under 3 years in the United States, fair quality for 53 percent, good quality for 30 percent, and excellent quality for 9 percent. ”

The quality of child care in the United States also can be estimated based on reports of structural and caregiver characteristics. Drawing on empirical research and advice from professionals in the field, organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Public Health Association (1992) have established age-based guidelines for group size and child:adult ratio. For example, the recommendations for child:adult ratios are 3:1 for children from birth to 24 months, 4:1 for children from 25 to 30 months, 5:1 http://rksloans.com/installment-loans-ny/ for children from 31 to 35 months, 7:1 for 3-year-olds, and 8:1 for 4-year-olds.

Table 10 lists regulations for child:adult ratio and group size for each of the 50 states as compiled by the Center for Career Development in Early Care and Education (1999). It is clear that very few states have regulations as strict as those recommended by professional organizations. For example, only three states have the recommended 3:1 ratio for infants, and only one state has the recommended 3:1 ratios for 18-month-olds. Two states have ratios consistent with the recommended 5:1 ratio for 3-year-olds. Some states are at substantial odds with the recommended standards. For example, eight states have child:adult ratios of 6:1 for infants.

An extrapolation to the quality of care in the United States was derived by applying NICHD observational parameters, stratified by maternal education, child age, and care type to the distribution of American families documented in the National Household Education Survey (1998)

Another way of estimating the quality of care in the United States is to consider reports of structural and caregiver characteristics. One nationally representative survey, the Profile of Child Care Settings (Kisker, Hofferth, Phillips, and Farquhar, 1991), obtained this information in 1990 from child care centers, early education programs, and licensed child care homes. According to the Profile, the average child:adult ratio was 4:1 for infants under 1 year of age, 6:1 for 1-year-olds, and 10:1 for preschoolers. This report indicates that the average center and child care home in 1990 did not meet standards for child:adult ratios that have been linked to higher quality. In contrast, the Profile of Child Care Settings found that caregivers tended to be well educated and to have specialized training pertaining to children. Nearly half of all teachers reported that they had completed college (47 percent) and an additional 13 percent reported a two-year degree. Most of the remaining teachers had a Child Development Associate (CDA) (3)credential (12 percent) or some college experience (15 percent). Only 14 percent did not have any education beyond high school. Ninety percent of the teachers in child care centers reported that they had received at least 10 hours of in-service training.

The Profile survey found that regulated child care home providers had less formal education and training than teachers in centers. Approximately 11 percent of regulated home providers reported that they had completed college; 34 percent had no schooling beyond high school. About two-thirds had received specialized in-service training. This study represents the best available information regarding structural and caregiver characteristics from nationally representative samples. The survey is dated, however, in that the data were collected in 1990, so the reports may not reflect current structural and caregiver characteristics.

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