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Sims M. Quality: the Key for Child Success. 2008.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/8702
Quality: the Key for Child Success
For young children, exposure to chronic stress has a negative impact on long-term social, behavioural, emotional, cognitive, physical and mental health outcomes. Attendance at child care is thought to be a risk factor for high stress in young children, as it involves a separation from parents. My research investigated cortisol levels of children in child care in Australia. We found that children in high quality services demonstrated a decline in cortisol across the child care day, but those in centres rated as unsatisfactory demonstrated increasing cortisol levels across the day. While we do not yet know how high cortisol levels can be, nor for how long they need to be maintained for long-term damage to occur, this certainly indicates that low quality care is a risk factor for poor outcomes. Children were more susceptible to variations in the relationship dimensions of quality than they were to variations in curriculum! programming measures of quality. This suggests that it is important for early childhood professionals to recognise the need to develop secure relationships with the children for whom they are responsible, and that the system provides the necessary support and resources to enable them to do so.