Maintaining Early Childhood Education Quality

The choice to implement and maintain a high quality early childhood education program is ultimately made by the owner or operator of a child care program. Whether the preschool is operated by an individual business owner, a for-profit company, a franchise, a non-profit organization or a government entity, each will decide the level of early childhood education quality they will sustain.

Each preschool program, regardless of the type of organization it is part of, or who makes the decisions, can implement their own quality early childhood education programs based on their specific philosophies, methods and approaches to learning. Individual programs will maintain their own high quality standards for health, nutrition, safety, learning, assessment and development based on the type of educational philosophy they may be following.

Beyond the child care facility and the organization it belongs to, early childhood education quality is also overseen and regulated at various levels of government. A preschool must adhere to standards set out by their municipal, state/provincial and/or national levels of government. Governments may provide child care centers with consultative advice and support, alongside their own guidelines to help maintain the quality of early years programming.

The bodies who provide oversight to preschool programming will vary from country to country, using different structures, but the following is an example of how some North American levels of government are maintaining early childhood education quality:

Municipal Government

Just outside Toronto, Canada, The Halton Resource Connection (THRC) is an entity that works in conjunction with organizations as well as individuals who serve the interests of children within the Halton Region. THRC offers curriculum resources, equipment, professional development opportunities and other services to enhance the quality of care that Halton Region child care facilities can provide.

State/Provincial Government

In the Province of Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Education is responsible for overseeing the quality of child care and early learning programs. Its regulations for licensed child care providers across the Province are outlined in The Child Care and Early Years Act 2014, which includes a wealth of information about maintaining quality levels in early childhood education programs.

National Government

In the United States, The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) operates as a professional membership organization to promote high standards of early years education for children from birth to age 8. NAEYC connects early childhood policy, practice and research together to help child care programs achieve high levels of quality..

Additionally, the Quality Rating and Improvement Systems Framework (QRIS) is another national initiative in the U.S. that some municipalities and states participate in. QRIS provides a framework and standards to develop a quality early childhood education system.

If your preschool is looking to sustain a high quality early childhood program over the long term, it’s essential that you design your program with the quality standards, regulations and guidelines set out by the municipal, state/provincial and national entities that apply to you. From there, you can build upon these quality benchmarks to develop a highly successful early childhood education program!

How do you ensure that your early childhood education program maintains the highest quality standards? Join the conversation at @HiMamaSocial and make sure to sign up for updates from our HiMama Blog for updates on similar content in the future!