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This entry provides an overview of accountability in the current context of early care and education (ECE). It begins by defining accountability and explains why accountability is important. Next, the entry specifies who in ECE is accountable, what ECE providers are being held accountable for, how accountability is measured, and what recent policy developments are affecting ECE accountability. The entry concludes with a review of the implications of accountability for policy makers, administrators, teachers, parents, children, and the public at large.

Accountability Defined

The term accountability in the area of public policy is commonly defined as answerability, liability, and the expectation of account-giving. Accountability for ECE includes informal accountability as well as formal methods such as monitoring, program evaluation, the use of data for continuous quality improvement, ...

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