The importance and impact of quality early care and education
• Quality early care and education positively impacts a child’s development and future in many aspects: social-emotional, cognitive, and linguistic development; academic and social skills; and long-term success. Low quality care and education has negative impacts.
• Child Development is an integral body of knowledge and practice fundamental to quality early care and education that addresses the particular learning and development that occurs between conception and eight years of age.
• Child Development promotes a link between caregiving and teaching that must be understood and seen as equally important. Learning, especially in the youngest, happens in the context of relationships and caregiving routines and continues throughout the day. Cognitive, linguistic, perceptive, and motor development are intertwined and built on a strong foundation of trust and security.
• An infrastructure supporting high quality early care and education includes a diversity of intimate settings reflective of the children’s families and homes, and small groups with consistent providers who mirror children’s cultures and languages.
Dedicated, compassionate, knowledgeable, and responsive early care educators
• Education and care shape our future, yet those who provide it, predominantly women, remain low-paid and unrecognized.
• A child’s quality of care and education is directly related to his or her teacher’s work conditions. Educators, compensated well enough to care for themselves and their families, are better able stay in the field providing the stable relationships young children need. Valued and well-paid teachers stay in early care and education after obtaining degrees and continue professional development.
• Teachers enhance their skill and knowledge through education, mentor relationships, and experience in high quality programs.
• Early childhood workforce development must include steps to increase compensation. Without this, those with hard-worked-for knowledge, skills, and degrees move out of early care and education into more highly paid fields.
Healthy growth and development for all children
• The early years, including prenatal, are formative and shape each individual’s future potential and well being. All children deserve access to resources promoting healthy growth and development including high quality early care and education.
• Access and quality must be linked. SFCCPA does not want quality care and education for the few who can afford it, or low quality for all – but quality care and education for all young children, reflective of the diverse communities we serve.
Family and Community Partnerships
• Children do not grow in isolation, but depend on family and community. We stand in unity with our families and their need for accessible quality early care and education, liveable wages, prenatal and health care, and the essential supports for a healthy, thriving child.
• Family- and the child-friendly communities intentionally strive to meet these needs.
• The relationships fostered at each early care and education site between individual providers and families are fundamental family supports.
• Strong partnerships between educators, family, and community both deliver and achieve essential supports to children.