A key component of the Los Angeles County ECE landscape, in addition to access and workforce, is the quality of the ECE services available. While access deals with the available supply of ECE services to meet the needs of the population, and workforce focuses on who is providing care to young children, quality is considered one of the key ingredients because a child’s early years set a trajectory for healthy development. An at-risk child who receives a high quality ECE experience is less likely to drop out of school, become a teen parent, be placed in special education, not attend college, or to be arrested for a violent crime (The Ounce of Prevention Fund, n.d.). The converse can also be distressingly true, as poor quality ECE settings can be associated with negative outcomes for young children. Children who received low quality care in their first 4-and-a-half years exhibited academic and obedience problems that persisted through to age 15, a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study found (Vandell et al., 2010).

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