Why Quality Matters

As a parent, you have the most influence on your child’s development from infancy to adulthood. And one of the first important decisions you will make is choosing the best early learning setting (sometimes referred to as child care, pre-K or preschool) for your child’s birth to preschool years.

New research in science and brain development shows that how you engage with a child through the first five years shapes that child’s ability to be successful in life. 

For many parents, the critical factors for choosing an early learning program relate to location, cost and availability. But quality needs to be a primary consideration as well. Why?

From the moment each baby is born, they begin a complex and critical process to make sense of the world around them. New research in science and brain development shows that how you engage with a baby from infancy through the first five years shapes a child’s ability to be successful throughout their school years and throughout their lives.

Children need to be stimulated every day in ways that help them with their physical, cognitive (intellectual), social and emotional development. With the right kind of engagement offered on a continuous basis, both you and your early learning program can help your child form a healthy foundation of neural pathways in the brain. These brain connections impact a child’s ability to think, react, process and grow throughout life.

That translates into kids who are: 

Prepared for School Prepared for Life
  • Achieves basic milestones in  intellectual, physical,
    emotional and social development
  • Acts curious and ready to learn
  • Interacts well with other children and caregivers
  • Higher college attendance and graduation rates
  • Greater job stability and earning potential
    and lower incidence of poverty
  • Healthier living, both physically and mentally
  • Less likely to engage in criminal behavior

These achievements not only benefit each child individually – they also have positive benefits to our society. Research shows that for every $1 spent on quality in early learning, we reap $7 in economic returns to society over the long-term.