Why early education matters
April 17, 2020
Early Childhood Education
Build an educational foundation that will help your child succeed.
The importance of early childhood education (ECE)
Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain development happens before age five. Through early childhood education (ECE) children get to participate in quality early learning experiences and caring relationships, which research and experience shows prepares them for greater success in school and life.
ECE is more than just “daycare.” Children benefit from programs that provide:
- Evidence-based curricula
- Developmental assessments and nutritious meals
- Opportunities for parents/guardians
ECE programs are run by trained professional educators licensed by the State of Michigan. They are required to have background checks, fingerprinting, professional development, safety inspections, and compliance checks.
Types of licensed child care centers
Child care center
A facility based in a commercial building that receives one or more children for care (without parents present) for periods of less than 24 hours a day.
Home-based family care home
A facility based in a home that cares for 1–6 unrelated children for more than 4 weeks a year.
Group child care home
A center based in a home that provides care for 7–12 unrelated children for more than 4 weeks a year.
Here are some things to consider when evaluating your ECE options.
The state of Michigan rates ECE centers through their Quality Rating Improvement System. Participation in the rating system is optional. Providers that do participate can receive 0–5 stars.
Teacher Training and Experience
ECE centers are staffed with teachers who have varying degrees of experience and professional training, which may include a degree in early childhood education and continuing professional development coursework.
Some ECE centers follow a structured curriculum and/or Great Start to Readiness, Michigan’s approved set of curricula for use in the statewide PreK program.
- Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) – State-funded preschool programs for income eligible families, run locally by Wayne RESA
- State of Michigan Parent’s Guide to Child Care Licensing – a guide for parents on what the state looks for when licensing child care centers to keep kids safe
- MI Bridges Child Development & Care – streamlined application for state assistance programs
- Great Start Collaborative – Wayne County – resources for parents of children ages 0-8 covering health, reading, childcare, child development, and more!
Did you know?
- Kids who aren’t reading at grade level by 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of school (Heckman, J.J. 2017 in Hope Starts Here report)
- Low-income children who participate in high-quality ECE earn up to 25% higher incomes than their peers when they grow up (Heckman, J.J. 2017 in Hope Starts Here report)
- Research finds that nearly half of the black-white kindergarten achievement gap could be eliminated with high-quality ECE (Duncan and Magnuson 2013, in 2014 White House report)