The experience of participation in a typical early childhood education (ECE) programme can give children an academic advantage according to research.
But any benefit from participating in ECE depends principally on factors in the child's home-background and the standard of early childhood education - specifically the qualification level of staff counted in the minimum teacher-child ratio.
The study discussed below is one of the first to provide evidence on what level of qualification is related to effective teaching and is appropriate for early childhood staff to have.
Note that previous research has demonstrated a strongly positive link between staff with higher levels of education and specialised training in child development and children's language and cognitive development. Many studies have identified that while some untrained staff may easily fit in to the role and behave and have the knowledge and characteristics similar to a person who has successfully undergone a training programme, on the whole qualified staff engage in warmer, less authoritarian, and more positive interactions with children than unqualified staff.
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