Children, in their earliest years, learn at a rapid place, and the quality of the environments in which they learn, play, and grow—including child care and early learning programs—are essential to their positive and healthy development. The quality of child care settings, however, has been long neglected, with many child care facilities barely meeting minimum health and safety standards and providers unable to afford the cost of improving their spaces. Many states look for minimum standards that keep young children safe and healthy and prevent injury, failing to look for facility characteristics that help promote healthy behaviors and development—from child-sized sinks to access to natural light.
To help states move forward in defining high-quality child care facilities, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) developed a list of model improvement standards for existing center-based child care facilities. States can use these as a model for better understanding the quality of child care facilities and to guide future investments.
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