Early Childhood Educators: Our Partners in Crime Prevention
Highly-qualified teaching staff set preschoolers on the path to productive adulthood
The research is clear: Early childhood education programs can be a powerful way to give at-risk children the right start in life and help them avoid becoming involved in later crime. But to achieve these results, programs must be high quality. Experts agree that high-quality preschool programs share key features, like qualified teachers, developmentally-appropriate standards and curricula, appropriate teacher-child ratios, small class sizes and developmental screenings with referral to needed services. Among the most fundamental preschool quality features are highly-qualified teachers: well-trained before and during their service, and well-compensated.
The heart of any early childhood education program is the relationship between the teacher and the child
Unfortunately, there is a large discrepancy between the key elements required for a highly-qualified early childhood education workforce and the current state of affairs. Federal and state policymakers must address workforce quality to ensure that early childhood education’s crime prevention potential is achieved.
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