The second issue of the Educare Insights series, this research brief focuses on timing and length of enrollment (i.e., dosage) in early care and education (ECE), providing insight into the role that ECE dosage may play in young children’s development.
Research findings from the Educare Network on timing and length of enrollment:
- Add to research demonstrating the benefits of a higher dosage of high-quality ECE on the development of children living in challenging circumstances
- Reveal that earlier entry in Educare was related to positive English language development for children, especially dual language learners
- Show that longer time spent in Educare was related to children’s positive language development and school readiness
- Provide mixed evidence across studies about the relationship between ECE exposure and children’s social-emotional outcomes and underscore the need for further research
This brief summarizes Educare research findings, together with other literature exploring ECE dosage in relation to children’s outcomes, and provides insights into relevant policies and best practices with the potential to optimize the learning and development of young children from low-income backgrounds.
ECE systems and program leaders, practitioners, advocates, policymakers and funders should strive to expand access to high-quality ECE programs for children and families in underserved communities beginning in infancy, promote long-term participation in those ECE programs, and conduct additional research while integrating more evidence-based social-emotional programming and learning opportunities in ECE settings.