Geoff Nagle: Availability of child care not necessarily tied to quality

Speaking to the Aurora Beacon News, Erikson’s president and CEO says many communities are ‘quality child care deserts’

In a recent analysis of child care availability in some of Chicago’s west suburbs, the Aurora Beacon News found that while some communities have more available slots than children, others have more children than slots.

However, numbers alone don’t tell the story about the quality of experiences young children are having in these communities, said Geoffrey A. Nagle, PhD, president and chief executive officer of Erikson Institute, who is quoted in the Beacon News article. And early experiences are the basis for what happens later in life, he said.

For example, he told the paper, some child care centers might not provide quality experiences like allowing age-appropriate choices and freedom in learning and playing. Other children might have quality experiences, outside of child care, such as through strong relationships with relatives or other caregivers at home.

“The reality is, I think, the vast majority of communities are quality child care deserts,” he told the paper. “And that’s really the struggle for us as a country, to help prepare our kids for school.”

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