URBAN ECONOMIC POLICY

TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

JOBS, EDUCATION
AND THE WORKFORCE

Federal Minimum
Hourly Wage Rate
Adjustment

Public Education: The Future of Our Cities
Expanding Quality After-School and
Out-of-School Time Programs

Effective Transition to
and Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998

Youth Activities in the Workforce Investment Act
Welfare-to-Work
Welfare Reform: Reinvesting State Welfare Savings and Greater Coolaboration
Accreditation of
Childcare, Early Education
and School Aged Care
Programs
Publicly-Funded, Transitional Jobs for the Hard-to-Employ

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

HEALTH AND
HUMAN SERVICES

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

CRIMINAL AND
SOCIAL  JUSTICE

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING

ARTS, CULTURE AND RECREATION

MISCELLANEOUS

USCM HOME

RESOLUTIONS INDEX

JOBS, EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE

ACCREDITATION OF CHILDCARE, EARLY EDUCATION AND SCHOOL AGED CARE PROGRAMS

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that between 1970 and 1993 the percentage of young children regularly attending non-parental child care and early education settings soared from 30 percent to 70 percent; and

WHEREAS, approximately 24 million school-age children between the ages of five and fourteen require care while their parents are at work, and experts estimate that nearly five million school-age children spend time without adult supervision during a typical week, many of these 10-14 year-olds taking care of younger siblings; and

WHEREAS, a parent who is employed full time can be away from home an average of 2,400 hours a year, with children spending just half of that time—1,200 hours--in school; and

WHEREAS, recent brain research has shown that significant cognitive development occurs before age three and that children who fall behind their peers in pre-school years never catch up despite placement in remedial classes; and

WHEREAS, studies indicate that children left unsupervised for significant periods of time have higher absentee rates at school, have lower academic test scores, exhibit higher levels of fear, stress, nightmares, loneliness and boredom, are more likely to use alcohol and to smoke cigarettes, engage in sexual intercourse and commit property crimes; and

WHEREAS, quality care for these children is an investment that pays triple dividends, in youth development, workforce development, and delinquency prevention; and

WHEREAS, a significant body of research has shown that children who attend higher quality programs consistently demonstrate better outcomes, including cognitive functioning and intellectual development, language development, and social development--even when other family variables are controlled, including maternal education and family income level; and

WHEREAS, according to the 1994 study "Preventing Problem Behaviors and Raising Academic Performance in the Nation's Youth," children who participate in school-age care programs are more cooperative with adults, are more likely to resolve conflicts with dialogue instead of violence, and improve their academic performance; and

WHEREAS, research documents that those states with more effective regulatory structures have a greater supply of higher quality programs, and additionally that in such states differences in quality are minimized between service sectors (e.g., nonprofit and proprietary programs); and

WHEREAS, research has consistently identified structural factors most related to high quality in early childhood programs, such as small groups of children with a sufficient number of adults to provide sensitive, responsive care, higher levels of general education and specialized preparation for care providers as well as program administrators, and higher rates of compensation and lower rates of turnover for program personnel; and

WHEREAS, research has shown that key components necessary for a quality school-age program are a trained staff skilled in the activities that school-age children enjoy, a safe space that meets the physical, emotional and social needs of children and youth, a wide variety of materials appropriate to the ages and developmental levels of the children, family involvement in the program, opportunities for children to choose activities and pursue their interests, curriculum and staff which reflects the racial and cultural heritage of the children and which promotes diversity, and a climate characterized by positive interaction of staff with children; and

WHEREAS, The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and The National School-Age Care Alliance (NSACA) have worked successfully to develop not only standards of care for early childhood and school-aged youth, respectively, as resources for providing assistance to communities who wish to implement models of accreditation; and

WHEREAS, the quality of care, even in certified centers, often suffers due to frequent staff turnover caused by low pay and lack of benefits,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Mayors affirm the responsibility of states to accredit, license, regulate, and monitor the early care and education and school-aged care markets, including centers, schools, and family and group child care homes, similar to standards established by both NAEYC and NSACA, and recognize that the fundamental purpose of public regulation is to protect children from harm, not only threats to their immediate physical health and safety but also threats of long-term developmental impairment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Mayors urge states to adopt and improve requirements that establish a basic floor of protection below which no center, school, family child care, group home, or other care setting for children may legally operate, and outline basic protections that should, at a minimum, protect children by striving to prevent the risk of the spread of disease, fire in buildings as well as other structural safety hazards, personal injury, child abuse or neglect, and developmental impairment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Mayors urge the states to coordinate and streamline licensing/accreditation regulations to focus on those aspects that research and practice most clearly demonstrate as essential to quality care; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Mayors encourage Congress, the Administration, and states to work collaboratively to identify new and increased sources of funding to support early and school-aged care across the nation including increased pay and benefits for child care workers.

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