Early Childhood

Early Years

April 11, 2001 2 min read

Child-Care Quality: A new study offers strong evidence that raising the wages of teachers in child-care centers can improve the quality of the care children receive.

“For every age group, classroom quality was most strongly associated with teacher wages,” according to the study, which looked at infant, toddler, and preschool classrooms in 104, mostly nonsubsidized centers in Atlanta, Boston, and the central area of Virginia.

“These findings indicate that centers in which teachers are supported with higher wages also provide higher-quality environments for the young children in their care,” the study concludes.

“Within and Beyond the Classroom Door: Assessing Quality in Child Care Centers” was conducted by researchers from five universities and appears in the March 28 issue of the Early Childhood Research Quarterly, which is published by the Washington-based National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The quality of the programs was determined by using three different rating instruments, which measure such features as curriculum, play materials, indoor and outdoor play spaces, and caregiver-child interactions.

The researchers found that wages were the highest predictor of quality in the preschool classrooms.

It is unclear, however, why teacher wages appear to play such a significant role, the authors say. They suggest the reasons may include that higher pay contributes to the stability of a center’s staff, and that centers that pay more can be more selective when hiring teachers.

While wages were linked as well to the quality of the infant and toddler classrooms, the researchers found that teacher training, parents’ monthly fees, teacher-child ratios, and group size were also important factors.

“This may be interpreted as encouraging news for those who seek to improve quality of care for infants and toddlers: Apparently, there are many avenues to quality for these youngest age groups,” the authors write. But that finding, they add, might also suggest that all of those factors require attention in order to provide high-quality care for young children.

While most studies of child-care quality focus on characteristics of the classrooms themselves, this research suggests that factors outside the classroom can also be “potentially powerful influences” on child-care quality.

“Child-care research that blends developmental and economic considerations is in its infancy,” the authors write, “but promises to be an exciting interdisciplinary direction for future research.”

—Linda Jacobson

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 11, 2001 edition of Education Week

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

7796 - Director of EAL (K-12) - August '21
Dubai, UAE
GEMS Education
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools

Read Next

Early Childhood New Players Fill Child-Care Gap as Schools Go Remote
As school districts move to remote instruction for the fall, day-care providers, dance studios, and after-school programs step in to fill school-day child-care gaps.
7 min read
A student works on schoolwork earlier this month at the Wharton Dobson Club in Wharton, Texas, part of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston. For a small fee, the organization is offering a full-day program that provides students a safe place to complete their remote learning classwork and socialize with friends.
A student works on schoolwork earlier this month at the Wharton Dobson Club in Wharton, Texas, part of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston. For a small fee, the organization is offering a full-day program that provides students a safe place to complete their remote learning classwork and socialize with friends.
Courtesy of Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston
Early Childhood Will Kindergartens Be Empty This Fall?
As cases of COVID-19 continue to grow, parents around the country are struggling with whether to send their child to kindergarten this fall. Some say they won't.
6 min read
Satiria Clayton was looking forward to her 5-year-old son Cassius starting kindergarten this year in Tempe, Ariz., but the recent spike in coronavirus cases has left her, like many other parents, worried about what to expect. "In an ideal would I would love to stay at home and teach him,” she said. “The reality is I have to send him to school."
Satiria Clayton was looking forward to her 5-year-old son Cassius starting kindergarten this year in Tempe, Ariz., but the recent spike in coronavirus cases has left her, like many other parents, worried about what to expect. "In an ideal would I would love to stay at home and teach him,” she said. “The reality is I have to send him to school."
Courtesy of Satiria Clayton
Early Childhood Letter to the Editor A Eulogy for Ken Goodman
To the Editor:
Several weeks ago, I spoke with an Education Week reporter about Ken Goodman in anticipation of an obituary about Ken’s passing and legacy (“Kenneth S. Goodman, ‘Founding Father’ of Whole Language, Dead at 92,” May 21, 2020). Great conversation. I looked forward to the tribute. I knew it would be complicated and controversial; Ken was complicated and controversial. But I was sure the controversy would be treated as part of the tribute.
1 min read
Early Childhood Letter to the Editor A Debate Over Phonics Instruction
To the Editor:
In her opinion essay, Heidi Anne E. Mesmer proclaims that explicit instruction in phonics is not enough: Children must be taught print concepts, phonemic awareness, morphology, and fluency (“Phonics Is Just One Part of a Whole,” Feb. 12, 2020).
1 min read