Press Releases

New Research Underscores Importance of Helping Parents Identify High-Quality Child Care

November 27, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC - The importance of Is This the Right Place for My Child?, a new publication released by the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) to help parents identify high-quality child care, has been underscored by new research.

The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, concluded that children in higher-quality child care have better cognitive and social development during the early years of life, and are better prepared for school. It also determined that less than 10 percent of child care settings in the U.S. are high quality.

Parents' top concern about child care is quality, according to a national parent poll conducted by NACCRRA earlier this year. NACCRRA's research also indicates that many parents make logical assumptions that quality standards are in place in child care programs when, in fact, they often are not.

To help parents make informed decisions about their child care choices, NACCRRA's Is This the Right Place for My Child?: 38 Research-Based Indicators of High-Quality Child Care identifies key factors that contribute to high-quality care. The booklet includes quality metrics; easy-to-understand, research-based explanations of why they are important; and a user-friendly checklist of questions for parents to ask when comparing programs.

So, what is it that determines quality? According to Linda K. Smith, NACCRRA's Executive Director, "High-quality child care addresses children's health, safety, and cognitive, social, and emotional development. With nearly 12 million children under the age of 5 in the United States in child care every week, it is essential that not only parents - but also providers, policy-makers, and advocates - understand what defines high quality, so that we can work together to improve the quality of care for all families."

To learn more about high-quality child care, visit www.naccrra.org, where you can download a free electronic copy or order a print copy of Is This the Right Place for My Child?. To learn more about the NICHD study, visit http://secc.rti.org/.