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How is the quality of Early Childcare linked to Child Development?

Depending on the quality of the programs pursued, effective early child care is linked to children's development. Physical school readiness activities such as learning to count, painting, pre-reading, and practicing social skills such as teamwork and cooperation, for example, are critical for a child's development. According to research, children who receive high-quality care are smarter and have fewer problems, better compliance, and cooperation, among other things. The ECERS, or Early Childhood Rating Scale, can be used to assess the quality of childcare. The ECERS focuses on structural and process variables such as the child's relationship with the caregiver. However, selecting the best caregiver can be very challenging. Care under the right caregiver safeguards the kid’s safety and health. When children are under proper care, it guarantees parents peace of mind whenever they are. The relationship between child care and their development is studied to examine how differences in child care features are associated with the children’s health, intellectual, emotional and social development. The structural quality features comprised of factors like staff- child ratios or group size, social determinants and care environment, quality of care, caregivers’ qualifications, staff turnover and wages, age-appropriate curricula, and positive staff-children interactions.

Staff-child ratio is a very crucial factor that is considered in investigating the appropriate number of children per a given care provider. This element also determines the child's response to the received care. (Stein et al. 676-687) studies children around fifteen months old playing for approximately 90 minutes. The results show that the more children per staff, the more the positive results. For instance, children with fewer caregivers tend to be more active and operative while those with more caregivers seem to be less aggressive and have the urge of interacting with their fellow children. When there is less staff, kids perform better in language assessments since they converse among themselves. Surprisingly, most of them prefer maximum concentration from their peers than the caregivers. The quality of care given with relation to their behaviors determines the future outcomes of children.

Social determinants and care environment factor are also essential in child development. Whatever kids are exposed to between birth and school age care period is always crucial for brain development and future behaviors. Kids who are exposed for longer periods to poor quality care tend to go through many challenges as compared to those in good quality care (Adi‐Japha et al 893-906). Most children tend to develop in response to the quality environment positively. For instance, kids growing in the environments with a variety of engaging experiences with freedom of socialization, tend to develop actively. Also, a safe and well-maintained environment, good hygiene and nutrition are essential for their health. Social determinants including relationships with people around them (parents) and living conditions play a crucial role in child development (Stein et al. 676-687). Parents are encouraged to support their children through engaging them in conversations and participating in their games. Most parents neglect this without knowing it is an essential factor in the developing the child’s communication skills. Exposure to any circumstances at early age, be it, positive or negative will have a significant impact on a child’s brain development and behavior as they grow (Isbell et al.). Children growing under the right guideline are always well mannered. (Stein et al. 676-687) studies 991 families concentrating majorly on the roles different types of childcare have on behavioral and cognitive child development. The questioners are regularly filled by both teachers and parents in the context of the kid’s daily activities both at home and daycares. From the analysis, considering the time spent in both places, it is seen that influences from home have a greater impact on children than those from school. The influences include financial instability and poor parent care where most parents give their children little or no concentration. Group daycare is seen to have less effect on child care.

Wages to the caregivers is a fundamental aspect of any childcare institution or nannies at home care. Low wages affects care quality by preventing high-skilled staffs from opting to work or lowering their commitments. Motivations are also important for good childcare outcomes. Maintaining good relationship with your child’s caregiver guarantees a good job. If the staff is guaranteed good pay and working conditions, this will culminate into more stimulating and caring behavior towards the children. Staff turnover is associated with wages. The higher the turnover, the lower the quality of services thus leading to poor child performance.

Caregivers’ qualifications and forms of childcare are considered for best quality child care. The level of education attained by a caregiver predicts the quality of work expected. The caregivers with specialized formal education are regarded as safe and stimulating thus fit for the care. Home-based or group daycares should consider stating the minimum requirements of the caregivers to ensure healthy child development. Qualified teachers are effective in delivering stimulating child-staff interactions because they have enough knowledge on handling children. For infants, they need to be more sensitive and improvise means of communication. A good relationship between the two will enable them to easily interpret the signal language (Brebner et al 709-726). They are also good at monitoring the kids’ progress through eliciting their ideas and engaging them. Meeting the right balance of the level of caregiver qualifications and the quantity of quality work is usually challenging. For a good balance, passion for the work should be the core determining factor. A good caregiver is one who has specialized in that field and tackles any problem even in the absence of the parent. They do their work out of passion and tend to be sensitive and responsive in cases of emergencies. A strong emphasis is laid on training staffs expected to handle infants and toddlers than those supposed to deal with pre-school children. Parents are entitled to choosing the best childcare providers for satisfaction. Some base on ethnicity and financial stability. Children from a wealthy and educated family have a privilege of attending higher-level centers as compared to those from poor backgrounds (Fuller et al. 3320-3337). There is a great difference between a formal and informal childcare regarding their impact on child development. (Geoffroy et al 1359-1367) studies how different childcare affects development by monitoring children from birth to 6 and 7 years old. On joining schools, they are tested to examine if their learning ability is affected by distinct forms of childcare they initially received. The outcome shows that kids from the highly educated backgrounds score higher as compared to those from low educated backgrounds. However, children from uneducated families but managed to attend formal childcare score high. This shows that the type of early childcare has a great impact on the children’s abilities in future.

Age-appropriate curricula and the physical set up is an essential childcare aspect in child development. The existence of care programs helps in ensuring consistency, staying focused and prioritizing given learning elements as stipulated. All categories of play, from imaginary to rough and tumble have a role in child development. Play increases development of the brain and general body growth. Through play, there is the establishment of new neural connections. Thus the more kids are exposed to different games, the more they develop their intellectual skills. The playmates like toys stimulate and prolong play. They should henceforth, be appropriate according to the age of a child. Toys should be understandable to a child. This helps in developing their critical thinking and imagination skills. They should be too known to them to give room for creativity. A good set-up environment for outdoors play is of importance in active games, and it minimizes accidents. Quality child care in play is determined by the space requirements and the provided materials in a given area. Caregivers are also required to make the play effective by participating and categorizing children according to their ages for better learning conditions. Parents with children should also consider living in a spacious house to give opportunities for indoors enough play. A squeezed room hinders the child from free play, and so they grow dull.

Positive staff-children interactions should be emphasized for mutual understanding and thus positive long-term impacts on child development. This should be considered in the early care setting like the process; how the care providers interact with kids, the materials they use and participate in this interaction as supporters. The process quality entails the nature of child care given including the emotional tone and soothing voice of the setting, the warmth, responsiveness, and sensitivity of the care provider, the activities and learning chances available for to kids. The staff should also be keen on aspects of handling different children and ensure gender equality so as to maintain a positive relation that is crucial for child development (Crockenberg et al. 1034-1038). Positive interactions with the kids with disabilities should be the same to that administered physically fit children so as to help them grow knowing they are no different from their fellow peers. At times caregivers mistake “special treatment” to showing love for them.

The childcare quality is a key factor that tends to examine if either home care or group daycare is the best option for child development. There are guidelines in selecting a high-quality child care. The quality of care goes hand in hand with the health and safety precautions available, the general program considering age-appropriate curriculum, enough physical space for play, children required to the caregivers and finally, guaranteed support from well-trained caregivers. A moderate amount of childcare gives the best outcome. It is advisable for parents to ensure balancing of home and daycare for good performance (Adi‐Japha et al 893-906). Home care is apparently the cheapest option for childcare. The two have got cons and pros pertaining child development. Daycare provides a perfect environment for activities like artwork, cognitive and social skills among others. Any child who has attended a high-quality group daycare have a tendency to perform higher in academics. This also nurtures independence in kids. However, it is disadvantageous regarding growing a child’s aggressiveness. Home care is considered as the best choice for developing kids’ aggressiveness. For instance, (Stein et al. 676-687) studies 3,431 children of ages between 2-3 years to determine whether either group day care or home-based care is linked to the child’s physical aggression. From the outcome, home care is seen to play a significant role not only in child development precisely aggressive behavior but also in proper nurturing of the children. Children under their parents’ care from high-risk families shows more aggressive characters as compared to those from low-risk families where 84% have no signs of accelerated, aggressive behaviors. Daycare is seen to have no impact on children’s aggressive behaviors. In daycare, most caregivers concentrate on sharp children leaving behind slow learners both socially and academically.

In conclusion, the quality of early child care is linked to child development if both the process and structural variables are kept constant. The quality of child care is met if the following settings are considered; caregiver qualifications, good health, safety, positive caregiver-child interactions, meeting staff wages among others.

Works Cited

Adi‐Japha, Esther, and Pnina S. Klein. "Relations between parenting quality and cognitive

performance of children experiencing varying amounts of childcare." Child Development 80.3 (2009): 893-906.

Brebner, Chris, et al. "Using relationships as a tool: early childhood educators’ perspectives

of the child–caregiver relationship in a childcare setting." Early Child Development and Care 185.5 (2015): 709-726.

Crockenberg, Susan C. "Rescuing the baby from the bathwater: How gender and

temperament (may) influence how child care affects child development." Child development 74.4 (2003): 1034-1038.

Fuller, Bruce, Susan D. Holloway, and Xiaoyan Liang. "Family selection of child‐care

centers: The influence of household support, ethnicity, and parental practices." Child Development 67.6 (1996): 3320-3337.

Geoffroy, Marie‐Claude, et al. "Closing the gap in academic readiness and achievement: the

role of early childcare." Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 51.12 (2010): 1359-1367.

Isbell, Rebecca, and Betty Exelby. Early Learning: Environments That Work. Silver Spring:

Gryphon House, 2011.

Stein, Alan, et al. "The influence of different forms of early childcare on children's emotional

and behavioural development at school entry." Child: care, health and development 39.5 (2013): 676-687.

September 21, 2021

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