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Back to Basics: Essential Components of An American Early Care and Education System

September 1, 2001

Infrastructure and system are two words often neglected in discussions of early childhood policy. This paper is about these all-important and hidden “basics”. It offers a working definition of an early care and education system, and of its infrastructure. The paper unequivocally states that unless the system and the infrastructure are addressed and supported, there is little opportunity for achieving quality and the desired outcomes as a result of policy change.

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