A Snapshot of Child Care Center Quality and Child Development in Mexico for Children Under Three

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Nov 2021
From 2018 to 2020, we conducted a groundbreaking, nationwide study in Mexico to assess the quality of service at public childcare centers for children under age three. This assessment, representative of the main child care models, collected data on 245 child care centers throughout the country, 426 classrooms, and 2,115 children who attend the centers and their households. Although the research collected information on structural quality, it focused primarily on process quality (or quality of interactions), which was measured using the CLASS-Toddler (Classroom Assessment Scoring System). The study shows that childcare centers in Mexico have high levels of structural quality and safe physical spaces in good condition where children have access to generally age-appropriate play materials and activities. Regarding quality of interactions, findings show medium-to-low levels, especially in the Engaged Support for Learning domain, which offers a unique opportunity to continue improving childrens experience at the centers and promote their development. Similarly, challenges in targeting vulnerable populations remain.