In the United States, the government shares in the responsibility of ensuring that children are healthy, safe, and educated through the implementation of laws, regulations, and investments. Although public policies governing the rearing and education of older children have a long history, the last half-century has seen an increased focus on policies directed at children prior to formal school entry. This shift has stemmed from two major historical developments. First, there has been an increase in the number of young children needing care while their primary caregivers work. Second, there has been an increase in knowledge about child development and the importance of early enriching experiences for later learning. These two major developments have resulted in an early childhood education (ECE) landscape that now includes ...

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