To help families succeed and low-income families thrive, quality child care is critical. Yet too many of America's children are in early care settings that lack well-prepared teachers, lack the infrastructure to do background checks, and lack the ability to offer safe child-to-adult ratios that give children the attention they need to learn and explore. Parents worry about the quality of care their children receive, yet often can't afford better programs and feel powerless to do anything about it. As research continues to show the importance of the earliest years of life to a person's future school and career success, figuring out how to provide more families with more access to quality care has become one of the great challenges of social and family policy of the 21st century.
The New America Foundation held this discussion of how to overcome these challenges and improve quality in early child care settings.