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Regulatory agencies in early care and education serve an important function in the protection of children in out-of-home early care and education settings. Moreover, they serve as important partners in efforts to enhance overall program quality to ultimately improve child outcomes.

Unlike K–12 education where schools typically operate under the governance of local school boards or similar structures, services for children from birth to age 5 are offered in an array of settings including child care centers, schools, and family child care homes in communities and states throughout the United States. Services are provided under the auspices of for-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, and education agencies. Therefore, the complexity of delivery models has necessitated the creation of policies to ensure the health, safety, and well-being ...

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