In Washington, D.C., teachers at child care centers will soon join preschool teachers in needing college degrees — one of a series of policies nationwide requiring higher education for the people who take care of young children.
Advocates say it’s a way to ensure that teachers are qualified to nurture children at a crucial phase of development. They cite evidence that high-quality early childhood education helps children, especially disadvantaged ones, for the rest of their lives — but that low-quality preschool can hurt more than none at all.
Critics, meanwhile, say there is nothing about taking care of young children that requires a college education. Mandating such credentials, they say, only makes child care even less affordable and reduces the supply and diversity of people able to do the job.