Evaluating the Quality of Early Childhood Education Programs

Authored by: Dale C. Farran , Kerry G. Hofer

Handbook of Research on the Education of Young Children

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415884341
eBook ISBN: 9780203841198
Adobe ISBN: 9781136897023


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In 2008, 67% of the 4-year-old children in the United States were enrolled in some form of early childhood education center-based program (Planty et al., 2008), and the number continues to rise. Today’s preschoolers will soon begin their formal schooling years. In another 15 years, most of those children will be entering the country’s work force. The extension of public education into the prekindergarten years makes early childhood settings the first introduction for many children to the world of more formal learning and to doing so in a group setting. These early experiences are critical for establishing learning and dispositional patterns that may affect children’s interactions with classrooms for years to come. Over the years, however, no clear or coherent focus has emerged for the purpose of early childhood education; that is, whether there should be different purposes in caring for or educating young children than there are for older children.

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