2023 EdTech Breakthrough Innovation of the Year Award Winner

Revolutionizing child care solutions with award-winning innovative technology.

All articles

What are mixed-delivery systems?

byCharles HollowayonJanuary 31, 2024

In the realm of early childhood education (ECE), the concept of mixed-delivery systems is emerging as a game-changer, promising to reshape the landscape of preschool education with its multifaceted approach. At its core, a mixed-delivery system is an educational framework that incorporates a variety of program types and settings to offer preschool services. This model is instrumental in providing parents and guardians with an array of choices to best meet the unique needs, preferences, and learning styles of their children. But why are mixed-delivery systems so crucial, and how do they benefit children, families, and communities at large?

Promoting Parental Choice and Flexibility

One of the most compelling advantages of mixed-delivery systems is the empowerment of parental choice. Families are no longer limited to a one-size-fits-all approach but can select from private child care, state-funded public preschools, or Head Start programs, among others. This flexibility allows parents to choose programs that resonate with their child’s individuality, fostering an environment where early learning can thrive.

Supporting Diverse Family Needs

Families come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own set of requirements influenced by work schedules, location, and cultural or educational preferences. The mixed-delivery model stands out for its ability to cater to this diversity, encompassing a wide range of service providers, including faith-based programs, home-based care, and community-based centers. This inclusivity ensures that every family has access to the early education options that suit them best.

Enhancing Accessibility and Inclusivity

A cornerstone of the mixed-delivery approach is its ability to democratize access to preschool education. By including various ECE providers, these systems break down barriers to education, making preschool more accessible and inclusive, especially for underserved or marginalized communities. This inclusivity is vital for creating equitable educational opportunities from the earliest stages of learning.

Driving Quality Improvement

Mixed-delivery models don’t just increase access; they also serve as a catalyst for continuous quality improvement across the ECE sector. By requiring diverse providers to adhere to established quality standards, these systems contribute to elevated educational outcomes for children, setting a strong foundation for lifelong learning.

Sustaining Economic and Program Viability

The integration of different funding sources and program models under the mixed-delivery umbrella lends economic stability to ECE providers. This stability is essential for maintaining and enhancing access to quality early education, thereby supporting the sector's overall growth and sustainability.

Reducing Sector Disruption

Expanding preschool offerings can sometimes inadvertently impact existing child care capacities and costs. Mixed-delivery systems mitigate these potential disruptions by harmoniously integrating new programs into the existing educational landscape, preserving the vitality of current providers.

Meeting Community-Specific Needs

Acknowledging that each community has its unique needs and resources, mixed-delivery systems offer the flexibility for localized adaptation. This ensures that ECE programs are not only available but are also aligned with the specific needs and capacities of different communities.

Facilitating Holistic Child Development

Finally, by providing a spectrum of program types and settings, mixed-delivery systems champion the holistic development of children. This approach recognizes and addresses the educational, emotional, and social needs of young learners, paving the way for a well-rounded upbringing.

In essence, mixed-delivery systems in ECE represent a dynamic and adaptable approach to early learning. By offering accessible, flexible, and high-quality educational experiences, these systems are poised to meet the diverse needs of families and communities, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to flourish in their formative years.


Stay up to date with Child Care Matters™

Stay current about new features, industry news, and ideas to inspire innovation in the ECE system.

Unsubscribe whenever you want.

We collect cookies to help improve your experience.

To see what information we collect, read our Privacy Policy.