Chapter

Quality of the Early Caregiving Environment and Preschool Well-Being

Brenda Jones Harden, Jessica Vick Whittaker, Gregory Hancock and Kevin Wang

in Child Welfare and Child Well-Being

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780195398465
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199863426 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195398465.003.0002
Quality of the Early Caregiving Environment and Preschool Well-Being

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This chapter examines outcomes for infants and the youngest children in the NSCAW sample. In particular, it examines placement stability and the quality of the caregiving environment. Developmentalists have identified the early childhood period as particularly important for children's language development, social development, and readiness for formal schooling. Researchers who study the development of young children have been especially concerned about the effects of children's early attachment to caregivers, as well as the cognitive and emotional stimulation in the caregiving environment. Children who encounter child welfare services are thought to be at a particular disadvantage in both regards, because economic deprivation and unstable caregiving relationships are thought to be all too typical of their environments. The chapter illustrates that these two factors—attachment and quality of the caregiving environment—are complex: when both are considered, their respective influences are not straightforward.

Keywords: NSCAW; children; caregiving; child care; child welfare

Chapter.  11083 words. 

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