High-quality early education and child care for young children improves physical and cognitive outcomes for the children and can result in enhanced school readiness. Preschool education can be viewed as an investment (especially for at-risk children), and studies show a positive return on that investment. Barriers to high-quality early childhood education include inadequate funding and staff education as well as variable regulation and enforcement. Steps that have been taken to improve the quality of early education and child care include creating multidisciplinary, evidence-based child care practice standards; establishing state quality rating and improvement systems; improving federal and state regulations; providing child care health consultation; as well as initiating other innovative partnerships. Pediatricians have a role in promoting quality early education and child care for all children not only in the medical home but also at the community, state, and national levels.
- Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics