What Is Quality Child Care?
It also supports the family in its role as the child’s primary caregiver and maintains collaborative working relationships with other community services working with the child.
In a quality program, each child feels accepted, understood, supported and respected by the adults, enjoys positive relationships with the other children and generally finds the activities interesting, engaging, and satisfying. Each family feels confident that the program promotes their child’s well-being and optimal development and experiences its relationship with the program as respectful of its culture, traditions, values and goals for its child, supportive of its parenting role and collaborative.
The program is affordable, conveniently located near the family’s home or the parent’s place of work or study and operates for hours that meet the family’s needs. Quality ELCC is provided through a variety of settings including child care centres, family child care homes, preschools, nursery schools, Aboriginal Head Start, family resource centres and other services with group programs for young children.
Promoting High Quality Child Care
Government regulations that are consistent with the research evidence regarding the optimal number of children per adult, ELCC practitioner preparation, group sizes and the amount of physical space per child provide a basic scaffold upon which to build a quality ELCC program. However, they are not sufficient. As identified by both North American and European research, quality ELCC requires the presence of nine other elements working together in an interactive fashion. These elements are found in the above diagram.