New Mexico policymakers have sought to improve the quality of New Mexico’s child care sector through FOCUS on Young Children’s Learning (FOCUS), a program that sets more rigorous standards for child care programs, and provides substantially higher reimbursement rates for children receiving child care assistance. This study takes a first look at whether differences in children’s child care experiences during the transition to FOCUS have effects that can be detected in their later school performance. The study examines children who received child care assistance subsidies during the phase-in of FOCUS, linking their child care assistance records to their later school performance. Children in the study received care in programs that were early adopters of FOCUS, as well as those who remained under the AIM HIGH system for longer. The study includes programs rated under both systems, and further research will be needed to determine whether outcomes look different after the full implementation of FOCUS. (author abstract)
Child care assistance and early literacy: Preliminary outcomes from the pilot years of FOCUS
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