It is observed that the affordability of a quality of a child-care center decreases with increasing quality, especially for the parents from middle and lower income groups. (Cattan, 1991). The annual cost for one child in full-time child care can easily run over $5,000 annually. (Blau, 2001) The quality of the childcare centers hinges on several factors like availability of credentialed, well trained, experienced staff; adequate supplies and equipment; low staff/child ratios; nutritious food and a strong learning environment. (Fiene, 2002). Research supports that quality childcare results in the children’s emotional, social, cognitive development, fewer behavioral problems, better language development, and thus builds the foundation needed for early literacy and improved school readiness. (Fiene, 2002)
Numerous studies have found that the quality of childcare is greatly dependent upon the educational qualification of the caregivers, their behavioral habits, and attitudinal inclinations. The educational qualifications have been positively correlated with caregivers sensitivity, positive interactions, less detachment, less punitive-ness, and hence with their ability to provide high quality (Fiene, 2002). Clarke-Stewart, Gruber, & Fitzgerald, (1994), have found that the caregivers who have more education are better able to instill more social compliance and social competence among the children.
It is also observed that approximately 70 percent of child care centers’ budgets are tied to personnel costs, better-trained/educated staff, and lower child-to-adult ratios. (Cost, Quality, and Child Outcomes Study Team. 1995). This naturally gets translated into higher child care prices, thus making the availability of high-quality child care beyond the reach of families with lower incomes. It is also established that the children from the families that have little resources, are typically in most need of high-quality child care to boost their development. (Marsh,1999)
Taking into consideration the fact that highly educated caregivers come highly priced, and hence their services are beyond the reach of many, it is pertinent that ordinary caregivers are equipped with better training and skills to improve their quality.
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