The Educare model is built on more than 40 years of research. Key features:
- A teacher professional development institute where thousands of early education teachers throughout California can receive research-based professional development
- Highly qualified staff – A lead teacher with a bachelor’s degree and two assistants in every classroom, in addition to small class sizes.
- Intentional instruction — Full-day, year-round learning focused on language and cognitive development, numeracy, the arts and problem solving
- Continuity of care — Children stay with the same teachers and peers for three years
- Parent involvement is both expected and strongly supported, with a parent educator with a bachelor’s degree for each “neighborhood” of classrooms.
The Educare model draws from a wide range of research-based practice that fosters robust learning environments for children who are growing up in stressful, impoverished communities. Research shows, among other findings, that vocabulary growth among children from low-income homes lags behind that of their middle-income peers. Without intentional intervention this gap, which is evident at nine months of age, will continue to widen.
A unique component of the Educare model is the practice of continuity of care, where each child stays with the same team of teachers from birth to age three. This continuity establishes a close bond between the children, teachers, and parents. Reinforcing stable relationships are essential to early learning.
Other teams (e.g., social workers, nurses, etc.) can provide additional professional support to each child and family. Teachers and social workers regularly review and evaluate their success in helping children grow and learn, and adjust practices accordingly.
Educare demands high standards. The national Educare Learning Network regularly reviews its own research, along with other practices in the field. The Network shares its findings with local, state and national policymakers to show them how high-quality early education narrows the achievement gap for low-income children.