Early Childhood, those weeks, months and years in the life of a child from birth through age eight, continues to gain national attention and support. Scientifically based research has provided both parents and educators with a new understanding of children’s rapid brain development from the beginning. Researchers have proven that children who experience just one year in a high-quality learning environment experience significant, positive developmental gains compared to children who may not have the advantage of quality care.
Michigan remains on the forefront of using the research to support the implementation of high quality early care and educational programs for very young children. Parents are recognized as their children’s first and most important teachers. Parent programs provide support and education for families who choose to participate. Research is also telling us that program quality plays a significant role in outcomes for children.
To help provide the best care possible for the children in early education and care programs, the State of Michigan Department of Education has developed Standards of Quality for Infant/Toddler and Preschool child care programs, which go above and beyond the State of Michigan Child Care Licensing Rules. Below are two links to the Department of Education through the State of Michigan website. These documents will help you understand how quality child care programs benefit a child in his/her growth and development in the early years. The Quality Initiatives workgroup for the Birth to Five Ingham Great Start Collaborative is developing a series of articles to help integrate these standards into best practices that can be applied to improve the quality of child care.