Quality child care boosts math, reading

Poor children in higher-quality child care programs do better in math and reading through fourth grade compared to similar children in lower-quality programs or in maternal care, concludes a new study published in the September/October 2009 issue of Child Development. Quality care didn’t erase the effects of family poverty, but it helped, reports Early Ed Watch.

According to Boston College researcher Eric Dearing, “the more time these children spent in above-average child care providers, the further the association between familial income and school performance weakened.”

Trained observers evaluated how “child-care settings were organized, how teachers interacted with children, class sizes, and other indicators of quality care.”

It’s clear that intensive, expensive, very high-quality programs produce significant long-term benefits. The question has been: Can these model programs be replicated? Finding long-term gains from good-but-not-great programs is a hopeful sign.

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Comments

  1. While I’m not an expert, the fact that “the association between familial income and school performance [is] weakened” the longer students spend time in expensive childcare services is kind of a no-brainer. Those services act as surrogate parents in situations where students do not have a strong family structure. I work with students that are on the lowest rung of the U.S. socioeconomic ladder. Those students with dedicated parents who are able to spend time with them and give them great care are doing fairly well in school, while those who have difficult home lives are struggling. This is another example of how the government might actually help low-income communities- make sure the children are taken care of and some of the problems reeking havoc in these communities might subside.

  2. Michael E. Lopez says:

    STOP THE PRESSES!

    SHOCKING NEW DEVELOPMENT!

    CHILDREN RAISED IN BETTER ENVIRONMENTS MORE LIKELY TO BE BETTER!

    READ ALL ABOUT IT!

  3. Yes stop the presses. It really is not new that children need a positive environment to be brought up in. This just underscores the need for every person involved in the childs life to strive to promote just such an environment.

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