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Center-based early care and education programs and quality indicators: A latent class analysis


High quality early educational experiences are essential for young children’s academic and social emotional development. Although there is no one set of quality indicators that exists at a national level to assess center-based early care and education (ECE) program quality, researchers at the National Institute of Early Education Research (NIEER) have developed a set of quality benchmarks for state pre-kindergarten programs. However, patterns in the types of quality indicators ECE programs meet and how program, community, and policy features might be related to which indicators are met is not well understood. In the present study, we conducted a latent class analysis using nationally representative data from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE; n = 5,076 ECE centers) to identify subgroups of centers on the basis of the combinations of quality indicators met, which are similar to those developed by NIEER. Descriptive results show the mean number of NIEER benchmarks met was 5.74 out of 9 possible in the NSECE. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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