20, Jun
Building Strong Foundations for Early Childhood Education in Childcare Centres

The foundations of a building are critical to its durability and capacity to withstand heavy loads. Without a strong foundation, the entire structure will be compromised and weakened. This is how it is with a child’s early learning environment.

Is it childcare or child care?

The evidence is clear: high-quality, sustained early childhood education has long-lasting impacts that help prepare Premium Childcare Woodford for formal schooling and lifelong success. And it paves the way for parents to enter the workforce and supports families economically.

Despite this, there is still a great deal of work to be done. A recent study found that even in communities with robust child care systems, many families face “childcare deserts” — areas where there are not enough high-quality, affordable child care options to meet demand. During the pandemic, these shortages were exacerbated as providers were forced to charge their own credit cards or dip into personal savings to cover the cost of caring for their families’ young children.

A major obstacle to expanding access is the lack of funding and policies that support a diverse early learning workforce. New York City’s current teacher workforce is overwhelmingly white, and the city’s centers and family child care providers struggle to hire and retain teachers of color. Moreover, research shows that teachers and providers need adequate wages to be able to afford the quality child care that their students deserve.

To increase diversity in ECE, the city should convene an Early Education Diversity Advisory Group—similar to its School Diversity Advisory Group66—to analyze the policy levers and research and make recommendations to improve the diversity of the early education workforce. This would be a good first step toward ensuring that all children have access to the high-quality early learning that they need and deserve.

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