Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Maybelline Truesdell

Committee Member

Mary Vogel

Abstract

This applied dissertation was designed to understand parents’ views about child care and the variables that influence their decision to place their children in 5-star child-care facilities. Child care of any kind is often the first group experience children have outside the home. The first 5 years are the most important years in a child’s educational life; it sets the educational foundation for the rest of the child’s life.

The quantitative portion of this study consisted of four research questions, which assessed several sets of relationships and issues: (a) the relationship between demographic data and quality of care; (b) the reported issues causing parents to seek child care; (c) description of quality of care; and (d) the relationship between quality of care and family structure, work flexibility, caregiver flexibility, accessibility of care choices, and flexibility of quality care.

This study indicated that the vast majority of the participants are satisfied with the quality of care their child-care arrangement provided. The majority of participants (52, or 95%) reported having chosen the current child care because they heard it was good. This study also revealed that a small number of parents found out about their child-care arrangement via referral services that provide measurable indicators of quality for an assortment of child-care options. Only 8 (15%) of the participants reported they heard about the childcare center through a child-care resource and referral service. Results suggest parents rely on information supplied by friends or neighborhood contacts who can vouch for a childcare center. In addition, some recurrent themes in the study show parents judge quality mostly by their relationship with the caregiver, how the child feels in the setting, caregiver’s perceived skills, and risk and safety.

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