Washington, D.C.– Working parents of young children need to be assured that their children are cared for in safe, developmentally appropriate, and high-quality settings. Children spend much of their time in child care programs, yet very limited data exists on the quality of these facilities—especially across health and safety standards. The research that exists, however, identifies an urgent need to address health and safety issues of early learning facilities—both center-based and family child care (also known as in-home child care)—so that they move beyond good enough.
While the challenge facing child care facilities is clear, the extent of the problem is unknown and exact estimates are difficult to determine without a nationwide needs assessment. In the meantime, the nation’s children cannot wait. They need healthy, safe, and developmentally appropriate facilities that can help them thrive.
Ensuring that early care and learning facilities are designed and equipped to facilitate children’s early learning cannot depend only on the child care providers themselves. BPC’s new issue brief, From the Ground Up: Improving Child Care and Early Learning Facilities, highlights how a wide array of perspectives beyond child development, including—but not limited to—architecture, design, environmental health, business development, real estate, financing, landscape design, and community development, can be brought together during the pre-planning and development phases of the facility design process contributes to stronger child care facilities, positively impacting child outcomes.