What is high-quality childcare blog header

What is high-quality childcare?

In a recent webinar, we welcomed Dr. Cara Goodwin, licensed psychologist and founder of Parenting Translator! Dr. Goodwin shared what the top factors are that make a high-quality childcare facility and how these factors can enhance cognitive, academic, and social functioning in young children. Through research-based practices, Dr. Goodwin teaches us how to create a space for optimal child development and create a “positive caring environment” in our classrooms. 

Click here to watch a recording of the webinar that inspired this blog post! 


High-quality childcare really matters. Besides the obvious reasons, there is a lot of research showing that it is associated with a plethora of benefits for children of all ages. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development did a very large comprehensive study on this and we will summarize what they found! 

Structural factors 

These are factors that are hard to change, as they are controlled by the childcare center itself. 

  • Child-to-adult ratio. Lower ratios are associated with better developmental outcomes for children. Each region has its own requirements and ratios tend to go up the older children get.  
  • Group size. This is independent of the child-to-staff ratio. The smaller the group or class size the better the developmental outcomes we see. 
  • Caregiver education and training. American Academy of Pediatrics recommends post high school training in early childhood education. The more education the caregiver has the better child development outcomes you’re likely to see.

Positive caregiving 

Positive caregiving is one of the strongest and most consistent indicators of high-quality care. It is also something that can be changed to be implemented in a center relatively easily, with just the training of educators. It is a checklist that can be used to evaluate caregivers

High-quality childcare is associated with: 

  • Enhanced language development 
  • Higher IQ (cognitive development) 
  • Improved pre-academic skills 
  • Advanced social-emotional skills 
  • Fewer behavioral problems and aggression 
  • Happier children who have better relationships with their peers

High-quality childcare has long-term impacts: 

  • Higher IQ, improved school performance, and fewer behavioral problems at age 15 
  • Better grades and less likely to be placed in special education at age 18 
  • More likely to have attended a four-year college at age 21

High-quality childcare is extremely important for our children. We are developing the next generation and want to ensure they are equipped to handle anything that comes their way. 

Click here to watch a recording of the webinar that inspired this blog post! 

Want to learn more about important topics in early education such as teaching children with disabilities? Sign up for the next webinar below, it is FREE! Even if you can’t join live, you will be emailed the recording and slides just for registering!

Cara Goodwin

Dr. Cara Goodwin, Ph.D., is the founder of Parenting Translator, a mother to three young children, and a licensed psychologist with a Ph.D. in child clinical psychology.

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