Quality of Early Childhood Education Environments: Discussion on the Concept of Quality and Future Perspectives



This chapter focuses on the quality of early childhood education and care services. The concept of quality, its basic features, and its operationalization are discussed in detail. The chapter also deals with the various critiques regarding the concept of quality. It offers arguments, on one hand, for the use of normative development as the unique criterion to define and evaluate the impact of quality characteristics and, on the other hand, for the use of a limited ecological perspective on human development as a framework for study quality. The chapter concludes with a brief mention of future perspectives about quality research and highlights the need for more effective methods to translate research findings into practice.


Quality Early childhood education Professional development Observation rating scales 



This chapter was funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation (CPUP UID/PSI/00050/2013; FEDER/COMPETE2020 POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007294).


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.University of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Polytechnic of PortoPortoPortugal

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