Does accreditation matter?: School readiness rates for accredited versus nonaccredited child care facilities in Florida's Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten program
Accreditation is a widely accepted indicator of quality in early education and includes many of the components cited in broad conceptualizations of quality. The purpose of this study was to examine whether kindergarten readiness rates differed between Florida child care facilities that were and were not accredited by any relevant national association or by the three Gold Seal Quality Care-approved associations as defined in Florida statute. To examine this, the authors looked at child care facilities licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families and participating in the state Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten program in the years 2007 through 2010. Of the 4,322 facilities in this study, accreditation was not associated with better school readiness when children were tested in kindergarten in any years except 2007. The number of students who were deemed kindergarten ready was not different for accredited versus nonaccredited facilities in Florida. These results suggest that although accreditation may be a worthy goal for child care programs to pursue, it may be insufficient to affect child outcomes. (author abstract)
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