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Licensing and Accreditation of Child Care Centers What’s the Difference?

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Presentation on theme: "Licensing and Accreditation of Child Care Centers What’s the Difference?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Licensing and Accreditation of Child Care Centers What’s the Difference?

2 Comparison of Features Some Differences LICENSING With few exceptions, a license is required to legally operate a child care center –Can be fined, have license revoked and center closed for noncomplianceACCREDITATION Centers voluntarily apply for and comply with accreditation standards

3 LICENSING Licensing standards vary from city to city and from state to state Minimum standards set by government regulatory agencies, with input from professionals and community, Established to determine the least that can be provided to assure safe, healthy, nurturing environment for children's care and development ACCREDITATION National standards Set by professionals in ECE; intended as standards of excellence Established to determine the best that can be provided to facilitate optimal growth and development Comparison of Features Some Differences

4 LICENSING Centers must meet & maintain minimum licensing standards Representatives from city and state conduct study, spot checks, and recommend licenseACCREDITATION Centers must meet or exceed minimum state licensing requirements (even if license exempt ) Self-study validated by professionals and conferred by national commission

5 LICENSING Staff must participate in ongoing professional development activities Accountable to report major changes License expires & centers must renew license at set times established by law ACCREDITATION Staff engage in continued education Annual report of changes and improvements Accreditation expires/must be reaccredited Comparison of Features Some Similarities

6 Illinois EC Teacher: Age 19 Two years college with 6 sh in ECE OR 1 year experience, 1 year college with 6 sh in ECE (or CDA, CCP…) EC Teacher Assistant: High school diploma or GED Comparison of State Licensing Standards Teaching Qualifications Arkansas All employees under supervision of director: Age 18 High school diploma or GED

7 Licensing and Accreditation Why aspire to meet higher standards through accreditation?

8 Indicators of Poor Quality Child Care Inadequately trained caregivers Understaffing due to cost constraints Lack of incentives for professional growth Excessive staff turnover due to low wages

9 Impact of Poor Quality Early Care and Education on Children Insecure attachments to caregivers Delays in cognitive and language development Lack of pre-reading skills and other age appropriate behaviors Increased displays of aggression toward other children and adults

10 Who Are the Stakeholders? People with Some Stake in Child Care: –Children –Parents/Families –Providers/Professionals –Agencies/Owners –Community/Society –Others?

11 Stakeholder Concerns Consider the personal and professional investments of stakeholders, as well as the impact of policy decisions on the quality of early care and education. With a Partner or in Small Groups: 1.Identify some stakeholder concerns, including possible competing issues between stakeholders and any resistance to accreditation 2.Who might be impacted by policy decisions based on those concerns, and how might they be affected?

12 Indicators of High Quality Early Care and Education High staff to child ratios and smaller group sizes Higher levels of staff education and specialized training Low staff turnover Administrative stability Higher levels of staff compensation

13 Benefits of High Quality ECE Staff Characteristics: Education, Specialized Training, and Experience –Developmentally appropriate expectations & curriculum Staffing Structure: High Staff to Child Ratios & Smaller Group Sizes –Decreased distress in children –Decreased exposure to danger –Decreased behavior problems –Earlier language acquisition –Increased social competence Classroom/Caregiver Dynamics: Caregiver Sensitivity & Responsiveness –Positive interactions among staff and children –Positive classroom management style –Secure child/caregiver attachments

14 High Quality ECE -> Outcomes Outcomes for Children From Low Income Groups: –Improved readiness for school –Enhanced language and literacy skills –Higher achievement scores –Positive social behaviors –Decreased rate of grade retention –Fewer placements in Special Ed –Lower rate of arrest for crimes –Higher educational attainment –Increased employment rate and earnings power

15 References & Resources Barnett, W. S. (2002). Early Childhood Education, School Reform Proposals: The Research Evidence, Tempe, AZ: Education Policy Research Unit, Arizona State University Available online: RU% /Chapter%2001-Barnett-Final.pdf RU% /Chapter%2001-Barnett-Final.pdf Bowman, B., Donovan, M. S., & Burns, M. S. (Eds.). (2000). Eager to learn: Educating our preschoolers. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Available online: Bridgman, A., & Phillips, D. A. (Eds.). (1996). Child care for low-income families: Directions for research. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Available online: tml tml

16 References & Resources Carnegie Task Force on Meeting the Needs of Young Children. (1994). Starting points: Meeting the needs of our youngest children. New York: Carnegie Corporation of New York. Available online (abridged): Chicago Metropolis (2004). The Business of Early Care and Education in Illinois: Providers’ Tools for Improving Quality. Chicago, IL: Author. Available online: ResourceGuide.pdf ResourceGuide.pdf Committee for Economic Development. (2004a). A new framework for assessing the benefits of early education. New York: Author. Available online: 4_assessingbenefits.pdf 4_assessingbenefits.pdf

17 References & Resources Committee for Economic Development. (2004b). Developmental education: The value of high quality preschool investments as economic tools. New York: Authors. Available online: opmental.pdf opmental.pdf Committee for Economic Development. (1993). Why child care matters: Preparing young children for a more productive America. New York: Author. Available online: Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (2005). The Carolina Abecedarian Project. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina. Available online: Human Service Policy Center (2004). Financing access to high quality early care and education for all Illinois’ children. Seattle, WA: Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington. Available online:

18 References & Resources Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (2004). Licensing Standards for Day Care Centers. Available online: Kagan, S. L., & Cohen, N. (1997). Not by chance: Creating an early care and education system for America’s children. New Haven, CT: The Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University. Available online: Keilty, B., Phillips, D. A., & Shonkoff, J. P. (Eds.). (1999). Early childhood intervention: Views from the field. Washington, DC: National Research Council, National Academy Press. Available online:

19 References & Resources Krajec, V. D., Jorde Bloom, P., Talan, T., & Clark, D. (2001). Who’s caring for the kids: The status of early childhood workforce in Illinois. Wheeling, IL: Center for Early Childhood Leadership. Available online: ort.pdf ort.pdf National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2005). Accreditation criteria and procedures of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Washington, DC: Author. National Child Care Information Center (2005). Child care workforce qualifications. Available online: National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care. (2005). Individual States Child Care Licensure Standards.

20 References & Resources Schweinhart, L. (2005). The High/Scope Perry Preschool study through age 40. Ypsilanti, MI: High Scope Educational Research Foundation. Available online: erryAge40SumWeb.pdf erryAge40SumWeb.pdf Shonkoff, J. P., & Phillips, D. A. (Eds.). (2000). From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Available online: Shore, R. (1997). Rethinking the brain: New insights into early development. New York: Families and Work Institute. IEWPROD&ProdID=82 IEWPROD&ProdID=82

21 References & Resources Smith, S., Fairchild, M., & Groginsky, S. (1995). Early childhood care and education: An investment that works. Washington, DC: National Conference of State Legislatures. Available online: Vandell, D. L., & Wolfe, B. (2000). Child care quality: Does it matter and does it need to be improved? Madison, WI: Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin. Available online: Waisman Center (2004). Chicago Longitudinal Study: Chicago Parent-Child Centers. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin. Available online:


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