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Early Care and Education: Realizing a Collective Vision

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The primary teachers for most children are still their parents but in today's society, children also spend significant amounts of time outside of their parents' care. The research makes it clear that children's early education experiences, both inside and outside of the home, greatly affect their intellectual and social development as well as their ability to grow up to be engaged and contributing members of society. Therefore, in addition to the love and support of parents or guardians, access to high quality infant and toddler care, pre-school and after-school programs is critically important. Access to quality programs benefits parents as well, by helping them provide safe and enriching environments for their children and enabling them to get to work or attend classes so they can provide for their children financially.