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Measuring quality in two early childhood education contexts: Centre-based childcare and four-year-old preschool

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Roy-Vallières, M., Charron, A., Bigras, N., & Lemay, L.
Publication Date: 
18 Dec 2023


The quality of early childhood experiences is crucial to a child’s development and educational success. Yet few early childhood education and care services in the world today offer a consistently high level of educational quality. In particular, educational quality depends on the context’s characteristics. The aim of this study was therefore to measure and compare the educational quality experienced in two distinct educational contexts, located in Quebec: early childhood centres and 4-year-old preschools. Results of the study indicate that there are very few significant differences between these two educational contexts in terms of interaction quality and pedagogical orientations quality, while variables related to structural quality vary greatly. Correlational and regression analyses carried out separately on each educational context show that few variables are predictive of interaction quality levels, suggesting that other variables, notably related to pedagogical orientations quality, would better explain variations in adult-child interactions predictive of child development. These results have implications for initial training curriculum aimed towards adults working in early childcare and for future directions in research on educational quality, including rethinking the importance of pedagogical orientations and structures in the ecosystemic model of quality.