Depending on a parent’s circumstances, a child may be in someone else’s care up to 12 hours a day.

“We’ll have parents who drop off their child at 6 in the morning and pick them up at 6 at night,” said Gordon Bacon, a board member for the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children. That’s why it’s important to make sure child care staff provide the quality of education a child may lack at home.

More than 200 child care center directors, day care employees, college students, parents and elementary school teachers from across the state attended the association’s spring conference Saturday at Central Texas College.

The association aims to emphasize the study and understanding of young children’s development to improve the quality of service to children and their families, Bacon said. “The most important thing when you look at child care centers and (their) quality is the education of staff.”

Having well-educated staff members helps build confidence, said Megan Burk, a counselor at the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children. “An (educated staff) also raises the overall quality of education of the children.”

Burk gave a presentation on decreasing staff turnover and improving retention through staff development plans.

Other breakout sessions at the conference included child guidance, sign language and special needs children, children’s gardening, cultural diversity, child safety and bullying, inspiring spaces and SIDS, shaken baby and brain development.

Dayle Eannis, of Copperas Cove, had difficulty deciding which session to attend.

“It benefited me. You learn new things and get great information (on child care),” said Eannis, who works at a day care and attended the conference to earn hours for child education mandated by the state.

She plans to implement what she learned during the conference at work.

Contact Sarah Rafique at or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at

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