Early Childhood Education programs serve families in need of high-quality child care in a center-based setting. Programs promote healthy child development through relationship building and a variety of cognitive, physical, and social activities.
Note: Throughout this document, the term “teaching staff” is used to refer to individuals who work directly with children in the classroom, including teachers and assistant teachers. While agencies may use different terminology, the term “teacher” refers to the individual with primary responsibility for a group of children. Assistant teachers are directly supervised by teachers. When a standard was written for a specific position, the title is specified. The term “parent” is used to refer to the child’s caregiver at home including biological parents, legal guardians, or extended family as applicable.
Note: These standards were not designed to accredit family child care homes and would not be an appropriate tool for such programs. The standards in this section are reflective of evidence informed practices in center-based care and do not address issues specific to the family child care setting. Completion of these standards by a child care center that utilizes family child care homes to expand its capacity to provide care will not result in accreditation of the individual homes and cannot speak to the quality of the care being provided within them. PA-ECE 12 is intended only to review the oversight and support provided to family child care homes by the child care facility.
Research Note: Research
has shown that high quality early childhood education can have a positive impact on the development, academic achievement, and safety of children. Some studies have found that the strongest impacts of high quality early childhood education programs were observed in at-risk children. A long-term study has shown that high quality early childhood education programs for at-risk children had positive effects on future economic success and the prevention
of criminal activities in adulthood.