Only about 22 percent of children in low-income families currently receive federally subsidized child care, and while preschool enrollment has increased nationwide in recent years, the lowest-income children are the least likely to participate in preschool programs. Twenty-eight percent of 4-year-olds were enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs, and only 4 percent of 3-year-olds were similarly enrolled. Forty percent are not enrolled in any pre-K program at all. Clearly, the publicly funded services that are available are lacking, insufficient, or both.
Our tuition based preschool programs use the Connect 4 Learning curriculum with an emphasis on S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) to promote innovative thinking in our young learners. We offer a literacy rich program which includes oral language development, rhyme, writing, and phonemic awareness. We believe children learn through play and hands-on experiences. We place an enormous value on the role of the environment as a motivating force for creative learning. Each preschool classroom environment is equipped with these interest areas: dramatic play, blocks, art, sand/water sensory table, math manipulatives/puzzles and games, music and movement, science and STEAM stations. Outdoor play time, library, technology and cooking activities are included in our daily schedules. We recognize class size is another crucial factor in educating young children. Our preschool class sizes will not exceed 16 children in a classroom. Smaller class sizes mean we are able to provide more individualized instruction to our preschoolers during our small group times and throughout our preschool day.
Professional caregivers work within the context of a center-based care (including creches, daycare, preschools and schools) or a home-based care (nannies or family daycare). The majority of child care institutions that are available require that child care providers to have extensive training in first aid and be CPR certified. In addition, background checks, drug testing at all centers, and reference verification are normally a requirement. Child care can consist of advanced learning environments that include early childhood education or elementary education. “The objective of the program of daily activities should be to foster incremental developmental progress in a healthy and safe environment and should be flexible to capture the interests of the children and the individual abilities of the children.”  In many cases the appropriate child care provider is a teacher or personal with educational background in child development, which requires a more focused training aside from the common core skills typical of a child caregiver.
This is a “step in the right direction,” but more needs to be done to reduce child-care costs, especially at the federal level, Dobbins said. For instance, money for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School program, which supports low-income student parents, program shrank from $25 million to $15 million between 2001 and 2017, the report said.
In a childcare center, teachers focus on the physical and mental developments of their students. In order to have a greater understanding of the student, teachers in centers must incorporate a relationship with their students that benefits their wants and needs while pushing them toward a higher set of values. This type of teaching with a caring relationship will improve a student's moral and incidental learning.