High Quality Early Education and Child Care Improves Health and Promotes Development and Learning

Armen Hareyan's picture
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CHICAGO - The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognizes that high-quality early education and child care for young children improves their health and promotes development and learning. The AAP notes in a revised policy statement titled, "Quality Early Education and Child Care From Birth to Kindergarten," that early education includes all of a child's experiences at home, in child care and in other preschool settings. The AAP recommends that pediatricians work in their communities and with their patients' families to improve access to, and quality of early childhood educational experiences.

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The AAP recently conducted a national survey that assessed pediatricians' knowledge and experiences with child care issues. The results showed that more pediatricians routinely inquire whether patients younger than 6 years spend time in child care settings. In addition, more pediatricians are confident in their ability to respond to child care questions. The survey also showed that while the majority of pediatricians are interested in receiving more information about child care, lack of time and uncertainty about how to get involved remain the most frequent barriers to providing services or consultation to child care programs.

To address these issues and implement policy statement recommendations, the AAP will offer training to pediatricians and their child care partners at the "Conference for Pediatric Advocates in Early Education and Child Care." Information about the conference and other resources can be found at http://www.healthychildcare.org

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