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ERIC Number: ED495098
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Dec
The Cost and Quality of Full-Day Year-Round Early Care and Education in Massachusetts: Infant and Toddler Classrooms
Marshall, Nancy L.; Creps, Cindy L.; Burstein, Nancy R.; Roberts, Joanne; Glantz, Frederic B.; Robeson, Wendy Wagner
Wellesley Centers for Women
The Massachusetts Cost and Quality Study assessed the quality and costs of early care and education services in Massachusetts, the relationship between quality and costs, and the relationship between the family income of children served and the quality of care provided by early care and education programs. This report presents the findings from the final phase of the Massachusetts Cost and Quality Study, which examined the aforementioned assessments in community-based centers serving infants and toddlers. This study was designed to provide an accurate, up-to-date picture of the cost and quality of early care and education services for infants and toddlers, but it does not evaluate the effectiveness of specific regulations, subsidies, or other policies. The study of community-based centers serving infants and toddlers on a full-day, full-year basis found that classrooms with better child-to-staff ratios, more experienced and better educated teachers provided better quality care overall. This includes more developmentally-appropriate stimulation, and better relationships between classroom staff and children. Centers serving different income groups varied considerably in the quality of care they provided. Center directors reported diificulties in hiring qualified teachers. Evidence supports the belief that higher quality care and education costs more than poorer quality care and education. These data present compelling evidence that higher quality early care and education is associated with greater costs. Findings on relationship between labor and quality suggest the importance of hiring enough staff to maintain small group sizes and ratios, and hiring staff with education and experience to provide high quality infant and toddler care. In addition to these findings, this report provides descriptions of the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS) benchmarks for early care and education, organized into seven scales: (1) Furnishings and Display; (2) Personal Care Routines; (3) Listening and Talking; (4) Learning Activities; (5) Interaction; (6) Program Structure; and (7) Adult Needs. An appendix provides the measurement and estimation for the cost-quality models. (Contains 3 tables and 22 figures.)
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Toddlers, Infants, Costs, Rating Scales, Family Income, Child Care, School Schedules, Year Round Schools, Early Childhood Education, Caregiver Child Relationship
Wellesley Centers for Women. Wellesley College, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02841. Tel: 781-283-2510; Fax: 781-283-2504; Web site: http://www.wcwonline.org
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Administration for Children and Families (DHHS), Washington, DC.; Massachusetts State Dept. of Education, Boston.
Authoring Institution: Wellesley Coll., MA. Center for Research on Women.
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale; Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale