Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Early Childhood Education Definition

Purpose

Early Childhood Education facilitates appropriate child development and ensures the health and safety of children in care.

Definition

Early Childhood Education programs serve families in need of high-quality child care in a center-based setting. Programs promote healthy child development through relationship building and a variety of cognitive, physical, and social activities.
2020 Edition

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Note: Throughout this document, the term “teaching staff” is used to refer to individuals who work directly with children in the classroom, including teachers and assistant teachers. While agencies may use different terminology, the term “teacher” refers to the individual with primary responsibility for a group of children. Assistant teachers are directly supervised by teachers. When a standard was written for a specific position, the title is specified. The term “parent” is used to refer to the child’s caregiver at home, including biological parents, legal guardians, or extended family as applicable.

Note: Please see PA-ECE Reference List for the research that informed the development of these standards.