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The quality of childcare in Chile: Its stability and international ranking

Several studies have shown that quality of childcare is a potentially important determinant of child outcomes. Despite the enormous growth in public childcare centers in Chile, little is known about the quality of these childcare centers. Objective The main purpose was to evaluate the quality of a sample of public childcare centers in Chile and to compare it with the quality levels found in previous Chilean studies. Another goal was to compare the quality in Chilean public childcare centers with that found in other countries worldwide, using the same instrument. Methods The study assessed the quality of 17 public childcare centers in Chile using the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised (Harms et al., Infant/toddler environment rating scale-revised, New York, Teachers College Press, 2006). The results were placed in a Chilean and an international perspective through a meta-analysis involving 2,171 childcare groups in 10 countries Results A moderate level of quality of childcare was found, which did not differ from the previous quality levels reported in Chile. Chilean childcare centers scored low on personal care routines (e.g., hygiene) but high on quality of caregiver-child interactions. Chilean quality of childcare is below the worldwide average but comparable to that in various European countries. Conclusion It is concluded that the large increase in the number of public childcare centers in Chile during the past 10 years did not negatively affect their quality. Several measures to improve Chilean childcare quality are suggested. (author abstract)
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Reports & Papers
United States; Portugal; Netherlands; Italy; Greece; Germany; Chile; Canada; Brazil; Australia

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