Associations between center-based care accreditation status and the early educational outcomes of children in the child welfare system
Given the corpus of studies demonstrating the positive effects of high quality early care and education (ECE) experiences on the development and early academic outcome of children who attend ECE centers, the current study aims to expand on the literature by exploring the effects of quality, as measured by accreditation status, on the developmental and early academic outcomes of children in the child welfare system. More specifically, the authors focus on children in the child welfare system, receiving childcare subsidies and enrolled in community-based ECE centers. Findings indicate that attending an accredited center results in better outcomes for both children in child welfare and a comparison group of low-income children not in child welfare. Moreover, children in child welfare system are far less likely to attend accredited ECE centers than their non-child welfare counterparts. Finally, children in the child welfare system demonstrate poorer performance at the end of pre-k than children not in the child welfare system. Implications for research, practice, and policy are discussed.
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