When It Comes to Child Care, Quality Matters More Than You May Think

Access to affordable and reliable child care is critical for working families, offering parents better job stability and overall economic security. But thinking about child care as a benefit to working parents without considering the potential impact on children is not just a wasted opportunity—it also potentially poses risks to a child’s healthy development. Quality early learning and care is vital for children, particularly those from low-income families, to achieve success in school and throughout their lives. Unfortunately, in the United States, less than half of the children living in poverty have access to the high-quality early childhood programs that could dramatically improve their lives. Research shows both short- and long-term benefits for children who attend high-quality programs, including lasting gains in both IQ and social-emotional skills. These gains prepare individuals to earn higher wages as adults, live healthier lives, avoid incarceration, raise stronger families, and contribute to society. Quality matters, and low-quality care can be detrimental to children, families, and society.

When It Comes to Child Care, Quality Matters More Than You May Think