Excerpt from abstract
As the provision of publicly funded pre-kindergarten has expanded in recent years, public programs for infants and toddlers have received relatively little policy attention. However, federal, state, and local governments are now trying to promote quality in family child care and center-based programs that serve infants and toddlers, often with an emphasis on workforce development. Despite the developmental importance of the first years in a child’s life, infant and toddler teachers in family child care and centers remain greatly under-studied in the research literature. This descriptive study seeks to help fill that gap by comparing the characteristics and views of family child care and center-based infant and toddler teachers in the context of New York City, where ambitious policies to promote the quality of infant and toddler programs have focused on workforce development in both settings. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected in 2019 via online surveys of 32 center-based and 30 family child care teachers, and then analyzed quantitatively to identify similarities and differences between the two groups. The results can inform the design of policies in New York City, other cities, and states that seek to promote the quality of infant and toddler care in different settings.