From the Ground Up: Improving Child Care and Early Learning Facilities

Increasingly, discoveries in neuroscience show that a child’s earliest years
are crucial to their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development,
and that the settings in which they learn, play, and grow have an enormous
impact on their future development. High-quality and developmentally
appropriate environments promote healthy behaviors, independence, and
social-emotional skills in young children. Yet, too often, the conversation
about child care quality focuses on workforce and curriculum, and rarely
does it include the physical environment in which children are cared for.

Nearly 15 million children under age 6 live in households in which all parents
work, leaving these children in need of high-quality child care.1 The physical
infrastructure of these spaces has been long neglected, and parents
are forced to place their children in substandard settings. It is critical to
recognize that high-quality environments lead to better outcomes for young
children and that the nation’s children cannot wait for greater investments in
early learning infrastructure that supports their development.

To support city- and local-level officials in addressing their child care facility-related challenges, this catalog provides examples of federal-, state-, and
local-level models across government, philanthropy, and public-private

SourceBipartisan Policy Center