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Beyond an "Either-Or" Approach to Home- and Center-Based Child Care: Comparing Children and Families who Combine Care Types with Those Who Use Just One

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Abstract

Most research focuses on preschoolers' primary non-parental child care arrangement despite evidence that multiple arrangements are relatively common. Using the nationally-representative Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort, we compare characteristics and outcomes of families whose 4-year olds attend both home- and center-based child care with those who attend either home- or center-based care exclusively or receive no non-parental care at all. We find that about one fifth of 4-year olds attend both home- and center-based child care. Mothers' priorities for care (getting their child ready for school, matching their families' cultural background) and perceptions of good local care options predict their combining home- and center-based care. Preschoolers score higher on reading and math assessments, on average, when they attend centers, alone or in combination with home-based child care, than when they are cared for only in homes, either by their parents or by others. Preschoolers' average socioemotional outcomes generally do not differ between families who do and who do not combine care types. Implications for research and policy are discussed.

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... Few researchers addressed this topic with respect to families, such as parenting and children behaviour changes after a support program [149], early program impacts on parenting [150] and improving of practices [151]. Others discussed intervention approaches [152,153] and intervention outcomes [45,154]. The last few articles discussed different topics , such as crisis nursery [155], health insurance impacts [156] , interventions effectiveness [157] and their relationship to population health improvements [158]. ...
... Data is the most important aspect in any study and it is the most significant effector that controls the analysis, findings and all the study's elements. However, when dealing with early childhood studies, some notable data issues occur in many areas of literature, such as missing data [21,66,138,152,176,199,212], reliance on administrative data [114,137,138] and the huge lack of longitudinal data and studies [1, 3, 17, 28, 31, 37, 41, 48, 55, 71, 102, 109, 114, 123, 124, 160, 162, 177, 178, 184, 192-194, 206, 212, 213, 222, 228, 231, 233]. Other studies shed light on other issues related to data, which include structure [1], accuracy [110], incompletion [100] and scarcity [65,116]. ...
... This recommendation aims to highlight the parts of literature where they recommend aspects associated with improving children's outcomes to cover areas associated with the impact of early interventions [153] , such as improving and evaluating nutrition [58,215,218,226], addressing science achievement gaps [114], behaviour [222] , hygiene [159], academic assistance For children with behaviour problems [222] and disease management [43]. The other group was highly keen on early care programs and services, such as the effectiveness of special education [109], child care subsidies [230], home visiting programs [150], community level care [132], configurations of care [152], research-supported practices for educators [107], rehabilitation programs [178], preventive strategies with assessment skills [2], guidance and preparation for health care professionals [91,217], delivering paediatrician prescriptions [211] and skills and knowledge advancement for social worker [229]. Few recommendations were meant for policy-related purposes, which include policies for children's screen time [201] and how different policies may play a role in fostering children's skills [230]. ...
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Article
Early childhood is a significant period when transitions take place in children. This period is a hot topic among researchers who pursue this domain across different scientific disciplines. Many studies addressed social, scientific, medical and technical topics during early childhood. Researchers also utilised different analysis measures to conduct experiments on the different types of data related to early childhood to produce research articles. This study aims to review and analyse literature related to early childhood in addition to data analyses and the types of data used. The factors that were considered to boost understanding of contextual aspects in published studies related to early childhood were considered as open challenges, motivations and recommendations of researchers that aimed to advance study in this area of science. We systematically searched articles on topics related to early childhood, the data analysis approaches used, and the types of data applied. The search was conducted on five major databases, namely, ScienceDirect, Scopus, Web of Science, IEEEXplore and PubMed from 2013 to September 2017. These indices were considered sufficiently extensive and reliable to cover our field of literature. Articles were selected on the basis of our inclusion and exclusion criteria (n=233). The first portion of studies (n=103/233) focused on different aspects related to the development of children in early age. They discussed different topics, such as the body growth-development of children, psychology, skills and other related topics that overlap between two or more of the previous topics or do not fall into any of the categories but are still under development. The second portion of studies (n=107/233) focused on different aspects associated with health in early childhood. A number of topics were discussed in this regard, such as those related to family health, medical procedures, interventions, and risk that address health-related aspects, in addition to other related topics that overlap between two or more of the previous topics or do not fall into any of the categories but are still under health. The remaining studies (n=23/233) were categorised to the other main category because they overlap between the previous two major categories, namely, development and health, or they do not fall into any of the previous main categories. Early childhood is a sensitive period in every child’s life. This period was studied using different means of data analysis and with the aid of different data types to produce different findings from previous studies. Research areas on early childhood vary, but they are equally significant. This study emphasises current standpoint and opportunities for research in this area and boost additional efforts towards the understanding of this research field.
... Researchers and policymakers have been concerned that the use of multiple, concurrent arrangements may represent instability in families' lives that negatively impacts child and family well-being. Although several studies have found adverse associations between the use of multiple arrangements in early childhood and child behavioral outcomes (Bratsch-Hines, Mokrova, Vernon-Feagans, & The Family Life Project Key Investigators, 2017;De Schipper, Tavecchio, Van IJzendoorn, & Linting, 2003;De Schipper, Tavecchio, Van IJzendoorn, & Van Zeijl, 2004;Morrissey, 2009), recent research suggests that regular or consistent multiple arrangements that are stable over time are not associated with adverse behavioral outcomes (Claessens & Chen, 2013;Gordon, Colaner, Usdansky, & Melgar, 2013;Pilarz & Hill, 2014;Pilarz, 2018). Additionally, among preschoolers, combining center-and home-based care has been associated with positive academic outcomes (Gordon et al., 2013), but there is little evidence of similar benefits of multiple arrangements for infants and toddlers (Pilarz, 2018). ...
... Although several studies have found adverse associations between the use of multiple arrangements in early childhood and child behavioral outcomes (Bratsch-Hines, Mokrova, Vernon-Feagans, & The Family Life Project Key Investigators, 2017;De Schipper, Tavecchio, Van IJzendoorn, & Linting, 2003;De Schipper, Tavecchio, Van IJzendoorn, & Van Zeijl, 2004;Morrissey, 2009), recent research suggests that regular or consistent multiple arrangements that are stable over time are not associated with adverse behavioral outcomes (Claessens & Chen, 2013;Gordon, Colaner, Usdansky, & Melgar, 2013;Pilarz & Hill, 2014;Pilarz, 2018). Additionally, among preschoolers, combining center-and home-based care has been associated with positive academic outcomes (Gordon et al., 2013), but there is little evidence of similar benefits of multiple arrangements for infants and toddlers (Pilarz, 2018). One reason for these mixed findings may be that the effects of multiple arrangements may depend in part on parents' reasons for using multiple arrangements. ...
... One reason for these mixed findings may be that the effects of multiple arrangements may depend in part on parents' reasons for using multiple arrangements. Whereas some parents use multiple arrangements with the intent of promoting their child's development, others use multiple arrangements due to employment or economic constraints (Gordon et al., 2013;Neilsen-Hewett, Sweller, Taylor, Harrison, & Bowes, 2014), which may lead to less-preferred and potentially more unstable arrangements. Moreover, multiple arrangements could negatively impact parental employment stability (Usdansky & Wolf, 2008), with negative implications for families' economic well-being. ...
Article
Despite strong evidence that stable, high-quality child care promotes young children's development, low-income children are less likely to participate in formal and high-quality care than higher-income children and may be more likely to experience multiple, concurrent arrangements due to parents’ economic and employment constraints. Child care subsidy programs increase low-income children's access to formal, center-based care, but little is known as to whether subsidies also influence the use of multiple arrangements. This study uses difference-in-difference techniques to estimate the effects of child care subsidy program spending on parents’ decisions about the number and type of care arrangements. Results show that state subsidy program spending is associated with a higher likelihood of using a single, center-based arrangement and a lower likelihood of using multiple arrangements. Findings suggest that the unaffordability of child care likely contributes to low-income parents’ use of multiple arrangements, and that subsidy programs increase these families’ access to center-based care.
... Prior research has found that multiple arrangements are associated with adverse socioemotional outcomes in early childhood (e.g., Claessens & Chen, 2013;Morrissey, 2009;Pilarz & Hill, 2014). Less attention has been paid to the associations between multiple arrangements and cognitive outcomes, but the limited evidence suggests that these associations likely depend on the type or quality of care used (Gordon, Colaner, Usdansky, & Melgar, 2013;Tran & Weinraub, 2006). However, these prior studies have mostly focused on estimating concurrent associations between multiple arrangements and child outcomes during one particular developmental period. ...
... Evidence as to whether type of care moderates the concurrent associations between multiple arrangements and child socioemotional outcomes is also inconclusive. Neither Morrissey (2009) nor Pilarz and Hill (2014) found evidence that the use of any center-based care moderated the associations between the number of care arrangements used and socioemotional outcomes at age 3. Gordon, Colaner et al. (2013) examined how children in both home-and center-based care arrangements at age 4 compared to children in parent care only, exclusive home-based care (single or multiple arrangements), and exclusive center-based care (single or multiple arrangements) on various measures of parent-and provider-reported socioemotional outcomes. The authors found some evidence that type of care was more important than the number of arrangements used: children in exclusive homebased care exhibited higher levels of provider-reported social competence at age 4 compared to those in exclusive center-based care (with children in both home-and center-based care scoring in between). ...
... For children in a high quality primary arrangement, multiple arrangements were associated with better language outcomes, whereas children in low quality care and multiple arrangements demonstrated the poorest outcomes. Gordon, Colaner et al. (2013) found that multiple home-and center-based arrangements were associated with higher reading and math scores at age 4 compared to exclusive home-based or parental care, suggesting that type of care may matter more than number of arrangements. Finally, Loeb et al. (2004) found no associations between number of arrangements and cognitive outcomes but did not test for interactions with quality or type of care. ...
Article
Nationally, nearly one in five children younger than age 5 experiences multiple, concurrent child care arrangements. Yet, it remains unclear whether the use of multiple arrangements contributes to school readiness at kindergarten-entry, or whether these associations vary by the timing of multiple arrangements and the type(s) of care used. Using nationally-representative data (N = 6450), this study estimated associations between experiencing multiple arrangements at ages 9 months, 2 years, and 4 years and children's school readiness in the fall of kindergarten. It also examined whether these associations depend on the type(s) of care combined. Results from OLS and propensity score weighted regression models suggest that multiple arrangements are associated with positive, neutral, or negative school readiness outcomes depending on both the timing and the type(s) of care used.
... Unique to this study, child care quantity and type (although not quality) were available for all arrangements and were included in analyses. Recent studies have explored how multiple arrangement usage at age four was linked to kindergarten outcomes (Forry, Davis, & Welti, 2013;Gordon, Colaner, Usdansky, & Melgar, 2013). In this study, we sought to broaden the literature by examining the links between children's average number of non-parental child care arrangements between 6 and 58 months (termed throughout the paper as multiple arrangements) and children's behavioral and academic skills at kindergarten. ...
... However, these proposed developmental benefits are potentially more prevalent for higher-income families, who may have a greater ability to intentionally arrange child care settings or provide children with stable, long-term concurrent arrangements (Pilarz & Hill, 2014), or for urban and suburban families, who may have a larger number of available child care options. For example, families may choose a range of concurrent child care options to capitalize on perceived benefits, such as positive social skills from a home-based setting and higher academic skills from a center-based setting (Bratsch, 2011;Gordon et al., 2013;Howes, 2010;Morrissey, 2009). ...
... Children may come in contact with a variety of peers who serve as source of direct or vicariouslyacquired knowledge. Recent studies found that using particular combinations of multiple arrangements in the year prior to kindergarten, such as prekindergarten (pre-K) in combination with other center-based care, was positively associated with pre-K or kindergarten language and literacy outcomes (Forry et al., 2013;Gordon et al., 2013). Therefore, theoretically speaking, a more complex and supportive mesosystem could present greater developmental opportunities to the developing child. ...
Article
Non-parental child care prior to kindergarten is a normative experience for the majority of children in the United States, with children commonly experiencing multiple arrangements, or more than one concurrent child care arrangement. The experience of multiple arrangements has predominantly been shown to be negatively related to young children’s health and behavioral outcomes. The present study examined the use of multiple concurrent arrangements for children in the Family Life Project, a representative sample of families living in six high-poverty rural counties. Using the full sample of 1292 children who were followed from six months to kindergarten, this study examined the associations between the number of child care arrangements averaged across six time points and children’s behavioral and academic outcomes in kindergarten. After including a number of control variables, regression results suggested that a greater number of arrangements prior to kindergarten were related to higher levels of teacher-reported negative behaviors, but not positive behaviors, and letter-word decoding skills, but not mathematics skills, though effect sizes were small. Moderation analyses by child care type and quality were conducted, with no evidence emerging that findings varied by type or quality of care.
... Arranging nonparental care for children is a key aspect of modern parenting. The challenge of finding and maintaining affordable child care, which accommodates parents' child-care preferences within various family and employment constraints, can lead parents to rely on multiple, concurrent providers (e.g., Gordon, Colaner, Usdansky, & Melgar, 2013;Morrissey, 2008) or to make frequent changes in providers as family and employment circumstances change (e.g., Davis, Carlin, Krafft, & Tout, 2014;Scott & Abelson, 2016). Single parents and those with low socioeconomic resources in particular face significant challenges in attaining stable care in the context of limited resources and low-wage employment (e.g., Henly & Lambert, 2005). ...
... It is important to note that child-care changes could also be stress reducing if they represent parents' efforts to attain higher quality care or a provider that is a better fit with parents' preferences, employment demands, or the family's needs (Gordon & Hognas, 2006;Scott & Abelson, 2016;Speirs et al., 2015;Wolf & Sonenstein, 1991). Similarly, multiplicity may reflect a purposive strategy for balancing parents' care preferences with employment and other constraints and therefore may be supportive for parents (Gordon, et al., 2013;Morrissey, 2008). Without knowing the precise reasons for care changes or using multiple arrangements, we cannot fully anticipate whether these are stressful experiences. ...
... In addition, although we did not find that long-term instability or multiplicity were related to an increase in parenting stress, this does not mean that that these types of instability may not be stressful under certain conditions. Parents' reasons for changing care arrangements and using multiple arrangements are likely varied (Gordon et al., 2013;Speirs et al., 2015), and thus future research should explore potential heterogeneity in how different types of care instability are perceived by and affect parents. Finally, future research should seek to more fully understand how the use of back-up arrangements contributes to parent and child well-being. ...
Article
Child-care instability is associated with more behavior problems in young children, but the mechanisms of this relationship are not well understood. Theoretically, this relationship is likely to emerge, at least in part, because care instability leads to increased parenting stress. Moreover, low socioeconomic status and single-mother families may be more vulnerable to the effects of instability. This study tested these hypotheses using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study (N = 1,675) and structural equation modeling. Three types of child-care instability were examined: long-term instability, multiplicity, and needing to use back-up arrangements. Overall, findings showed little evidence that parenting stress mediated the associations between care instability and child behavior problems among the full sample. Among single-mother and low-income families, however, needing to use back-up arrangements had small positive associations with parenting stress, which partially mediated the relationship between that type of care instability and child externalizing behavior problems.
... Center-based child care attendance is in some studies associated with less favorable social-emotional outcomes than homebased child care, although differences are small ( Burchinal, 1999 ;Coley, Votruba-Drzal, Miller, & Koury, 2013 ;Loeb, Bridges, Bassok, Fuller, & Rumberger, 20 07 ;NICHD, 20 03 ;Vandell, 20 04 ;Vermeer & van IJzendoorn, 2006 ). In addition, the evidence is equivocal, because other studies did not find an association between type of care and children's social-emotional development ( Gordon, Colaner, Usdansky, & Melgar, 2013 ;Votruba-Drzal, Coley, & Chase-Lansdale, 2004 ). ...
... Our finding that children in home-based child care have slightly higher levels of well-being is in line with previous studies (see Burchinal, 1999 ;Coley et al., 2013 ;Loeb et al., 2007 ;NICHD, 2003 ;Vandell, 2004 ;Vermeer & van IJzendoorn, 2006 ); some studies reported nonsignificant differences ( Gordon et al., 2013 ;Votruba-Drzal et al., 2004 ). Although home-based child care may not offer an optimal physical environment ( Dowsett et al., 2008 ;Li-Grining & Coley, 2006 ; this study), its favorable structural characteristics like smaller group size, the caregiver-child ratio and caregiver stability may contribute to the relatively high levels of emotional support and closeness in caregiver-child relationships, which in turn influence social-emotional functioning of young children in Dutch home-based care settings. ...
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Article
This study compares process quality and child functioning in Dutch center-based care and home-based care and explores the role of the dyadic caregiver-child relationship. Participants in this study included 228 children from 74 locations (154 attending center-based child care, 74 home-based child care; mean age 2.5 years). The level of emotional and behavioral support and caregiver-child closeness was higher in home-based care than center-based care, whereas quality of the physical environment was higher in center-based child care. Children's well-being was higher and levels of problem behavior were lower in home-based care compared to center-based care. The caregiver-child relationship was related to a higher level of well-being and less problem behavior. Process quality was more strongly related to children's functioning in home-based child care compared to center-based child care. The dyadic relationship quality is an important element of the care ecology of preschool children and predicts child functioning in both home-based and center-based care.
... The limited research about the quality of FCC is also a concern for state and local Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). Some research has noted concerns with low global quality that may extend to children's academic and social outcomes (Bassok et al. 2016;Gordon et al. 2013). However, quality in FCC varies widely and appears to be malleable through quality improvement supports (Bromer and Korfmacher 2017;Ota and Austin 2013). ...
... Studies that compared the quality of FCC to that of center-based care generally found that the quality of FCC tended to be lower than that of center-based settings (Coley, Chase-Lansdale, and Li-Grining 2001;Gordon et al. 2013). However, an examination of domain-specific quality rather than global quality revealed high ratings in domains such as emotional responsiveness and provider-child interactions (Porter et al. 2010). ...
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Article
The quality of early care and education affects a wide range of children's experiences and developmental outcomes. Family Child Care (FCC) is no exception, and attention to increasing the quality of Family Child Care is needed. The purpose of the current study was to examine an experimental case of intensive Professional Development (PD) in FCC programmes focusing on domain-specific quality (language and literacy) and global quality. Forty-nine FCC providers in two states participated in the study. Thirty-eight FCC providers received intensive PD support, including five three-hour training workshops on early language and literacy, weekly onsite technical assistance, and monthly Community of Practice meetings. Eleven FCC providers served as a comparison group. The Child/Home Environmental Language and Literacy Observation (CHELLO) and Family Child Care Environmental Rating Scale (FCCERS-R) were used to measure the quality of FCC. Results showed significant improvement in the high-intensity PD group on both measures. The study presents a promising model of PD that may be an appropriate approach to embed within Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) in early child care and education. ARTICLE HISTORY
... Some evidence suggests that family child care homes are often lower in quality than center-based care, although both types of care vary widely in their quality (NICHD ECCRN, 2004;Votruba-Drzal, Coley, & Chase-Lansdale, 2004;Fuller, Kagan, Loeb, & Chang, 2004;Loeb, Fuller, Kagan, & Carrol, 2004;Ruzek, Burchinal, Farkas, & Duncan, 2014). In addition, children in family child care settings show lower school readiness skills compared to children in center-based child care (Ansari & Winsler, 2013;Burchinal et al., 2000;Gordon, Colaner, Usdansky, & Melgar, 2013;Loeb et al., 2004;NICHD ECCRN, 2006;NICHD ECCRN & Duncan, 2003). ...
... Also, it should be noted that the CBCL Attention Problems subscale was designed as a measure of attention problems rather than EF-related skills. However, there is considerable overlap in item/scale content between the CBCL Attention Problems subscale and parentreport measures of EF, such as the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool Version (BRIEF-P; Gioia, Espy, & Isquith, 2003) or the Children's Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ) Attention Focusing and Inhibitory Control scales (Rothbart, Ahadi, Hershey, & Fisher, 2001;see Espy et al., 2011). For example, items on the CBCL Attention Problems scale include, "Can't concentrate, can't pay attention for long," which is similar to "Has trouble concentrating when listening to a story" on the CBQ Attention Focusing scale. ...
Article
Caregiver responsiveness has been theorized and found to support children’s early executive function (EF) development. This study examined the effects of an intervention that targeted family child care provider responsiveness on children’s EF. Family child care providers were randomly assigned to one of two intervention groups or a control group. An intervention group that received a responsiveness-focused online professional development course and another intervention group that received this online course plus weekly mentoring were collapsed into one group because they did not differ on any of the outcome variables. Children (N = 141) ranged in age from 2.5 to 5 years (mean age = 3.58 years; 52% female). At pretest and posttest, children completed delay inhibition tasks (gift delay-wrap, gift delay-bow) and conflict EF tasks (bear/dragon, dimensional change card sort), and parents reported on the children’s level of attention problems. Although there were no main effects of the intervention on children’s EF, there were significant interactions between intervention status and child age for delay inhibition and attention problems. The youngest children improved in delay inhibition and attention problems if they were in the intervention rather than the control group, whereas older children did not. These results suggest that improving family child care provider responsive behaviors may facilitate the development of certain EF skills in young preschool-age children.
... A few studies have tried to measure the quality of FCC, reporting that overall quality of care children received in FCC is low when compared to center-based care (Coley, Chase-Lansdale, & Li-Grinning, 2001;Dowsett, Huston, Imes, & Gennetian, 2008;Gordon, Colaner, Usdansky, & Melgar, 2013;Morrissey & Banghart, 2007). This is particularly concerning because families of children who face risk factors, including single-parent households, lower income, and low parent education, are most likely to use FCC (Laughlin, 2013;NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2004). ...
... In particular, findings mostly reported that children who attend center-based care seem to score higher in cognitive tasks compared to their peers in family home-based care [37,38]. On the other hand, results from studies considering potential associations and differences in children's socioemotional development in a different type of care settings appear still ill-defined, suggesting a need for further evaluations and considerations [39][40][41]. ...
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Article
Sensitive caregiver–child interactions appear fundamental throughout childhood, supporting infants’ wellbeing and development not only in a familial context but in professional caregiving as well. The main aim of this review was to examine the existing literature about Early Childhood Education Context (ECEC) intervention studies dedicated to caregiver–child interaction, fostering children’s socioemotional developmental pathways. Studies published between January 2007 and July 2021 were identified in four electronic databases following PRIMSA guidelines. The initial search yielded a total of 342 records. Among them, 48 studies were fully reviewed. Finally, 18 of them met all inclusion criteria and formed the basis for this review. Main factors characterizing implemented programs were recorded (e.g., intervention and sample characteristics, dimensions of the teacher–child interaction targeted by the intervention, outcome variables, main results) in order to frame key elements of ECE intervention programs. Our review points to a range of fundamental issues that should consider to enhance ECEC interventions’ efficacy, supporting children’s socioemotional development and caregiver–child interaction. Reflections and considerations for future research are provided.
... Family child care; providerchild relationships; coping; provider-family relationships; early care and education High-quality early care and education (ECE) has a tremendous effect on the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being and development of young children (Bakken, Brown, and Downing 2017). Although there is a substantial body of research investigating the impact of ECE settings on child outcomes, a common thread across child care contexts, center-or home-based, is the importance of the quality care and education (Fuller et al. 2004;Gordon et al. 2013). Looking specifically at family child care (FCC) contexts, there is evidence that quality providers facilitate the socialization of young children (Jeon, Kwon, and Choi 2018), and cultivate a foundation that aids in children's future academic achievement when they transition into formal schooling (Owen et al. 2008). ...
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Article
Family child care (FCC) providers are key suppliers of care and education to young children, yet they often experience stressors that can influence their ability to provide developmentally appropriate care. This research sought to understand the direct and indirect associations among FCC providers’ relationships with families they serve, relationships with children in care (measured via closeness and conflict), and individual well-being (measured via coping skills). In this study, 888 FCC providers completed questionnaires. After controlling for demographic, job-related, and personal factors, path analysis revealed FCC providers reported higher closeness and lower conflict with the children in their care when they perceived more positive relationships with children’s families. In addition, more positive relationships with children’s families were associated with stronger FCC provider coping skills, which in turn, were associated with lower conflict and higher closeness within provider-child relationships. Suggestions are offered for future research and support of the well-being of FCC providers.
... Decades of research have demonstrated the incredible impact of quality ECE (Bakken et al., 2017). Although there is a body of literature comparing early child care options (Fuller et al., 2004;Gordon, Colaner, Usdansky & Melgar, 2013), across these findings, regardless of the setting in which children are cared for, it is the quality of the early care and education children receive that is most integral for their social, emotional, language, and cognitive development (Keys et al., 2013). ...
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Article
Background Quality early childhood education (ECE) sets the foundation for children’s healthy development. Families make choices regarding the ECE options available to them, and families who desire smaller, more personal, flexible, and less expensive options, often select family child care (FCC) providers over center-based care. In addition, trending research in the United States indicates that there is a decline of FCC providers leading to a gap in the available resources for families. Objective This study explored the experiences of family child care providers regarding the challenges and benefits of their profession. Methods Two focus groups (N = 27) comprised of licensed and unlicensed FCC providers were conducted to understand their perspectives on the perceived challenges and benefits of their work. Results Using Bromer and Korfmacher’s conceptual model of high-quality support, we conducted a thematic analysis and found providers identified several challenges including: feeling uncomfortable in their home, payment and scheduling issues, frustration with parents, limited resources, and role conflicts. Providers also described strategies for managing their family childcare program including utilizing critical early childhood education learning strategies with children, separating personal and work spaces, using contracts, and the importance of networking with other professionals. Providers also shared benefits of FCC for the children in their care, themselves, and their own families. Conclusions The findings align with Bromer and Korfmacher’s (2017) conceptual model and suggest a need for networking opportunities to provide information and support amongst FCC providers, improved resource sharing, more accessible funding opportunities, and the need for business training tools.
... The stability of care that children experience is key to understanding quality in ECEC. Lack of stability may result from heterogeneity in staffing, inattention to caregiver continuity (Ruprecht, Elicker, & Choi, 2016), children experiencing more than one care arrangement simultaneously (Gordon, Colaner, Usdansky, & Melgar, 2013), the movement of children between caregivers to ensure that minimum ratio standards are met (Le, Schaack, & Setodji, 2015;Pilarz & Hill, 2014), or the overall high level of turnover prevalent in ECEC settings (Cramer & Cappella, 2019;Hale-Jinks, Knopf, & Kemple, 2006). Instability in care has been associated with poorer socioemotional development as children's attachment may be adversely affected (De Schipper, Tavecchio, Van IJzendoorn, & Linting, 2003). ...
Article
Early childhood education and care settings consist of educators clustered into classrooms, clustered into centers. Yet, little empirical research has examined variance in the interaction styles of full-time educators who work in the same classroom. In this study we engage in preliminary work to examine variability in children's experiences with different educators. The sample consisted of 172 full-time educators from 86 classrooms. We conducted hierarchical linear modeling using the difference in the interaction styles of the two educators in each classroom as the outcome. Educators’ interaction styles were measured using the Responsive Interactions for Learning (RIFL-E) scale. Approximately 58% of the variance was accounted for at the classroom level and 42% at the center level. Educators with similar interaction styles tended to be grouped together in classrooms. Classrooms where educators had smaller discrepancies in interaction styles had higher overall quality and a higher percentage of educators with early childhood education degrees, but a bigger difference between educator's highest level of education. These findings highlight the importance of considering educator-level variance in conceptualizing and measuring quality. Implications for how quality of educator/child interaction is conceptualized and measured, and research and policy on oversight and quality improvement are discussed.
... In fact, not all parents receive good knowledge in parenting (16) , and the development of their children reported a more significant increase in mothers who did not work. The study shows that most parents carry out parenting duties based solely on their life experience, personal opinions and expectations of their children's personal character which are obtained from the communication media used by the mothers (17) . According to previous research, parents who do not entrust their children to daycare are stigmatised; spending a long time playing with lots of children causes their child to get tired and easily stressed, so that practically the parents nonetheless provide independent care at home (18) . ...
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Article
Background: The insufficient amount of time allocated by working parents is one of the causes of reduced interaction between parents and children. Consequently, the solution of entrusting children to daycare centres remains a choice. The development of children aged 3–72 months is extremely significant because the brain volume develops to reach 95% of the adult brain volume. This makes the stimulation provided by caregivers extremely important. This study aimed to identify differences in the development of children entrusted to daycare centres compared to the home care. Methods: The study was performed in Surabaya, Indonesia. The total sample was divided into 2 groups of children aged 3–72 months, one group was cared for at home, and the other in the daycare setting. The subjects were assessed using Indonesia’s Prescreening Developmental Questionnaire (PDQ) to determine their development. The assessment was conducted twice, with the second evaluation taking place 6 months after the first analysis. Results: We analysed data from 193 children. The children cared for at home differed significantly (53.3%) from the children entrusted to daycare centres (38.8%) in the first assessment, while in the second assessment 44.4% of the former group experienced a disruption of their personal-social skills, compared 38.8% in the latter. Gross motor and speech-language skills changed significantly improved in 6 months’ evaluations. Conclusion: There were no differences between the development of children being cared for at home and those that were entrusted to daycare centres over 6 months of continuous evaluation. Keywords: child care, child development, daycare, home care
... Additionally, children tend to have less access to books than in center-based care (Paulsell et al., 2006). Consequently, FFN providers typically score lower on quality measures that are related to children's cognitive stimulation (Gordon et al., 2013). A study by Bassok et al. (2016) using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort found that among HBCC providers, 60% reported doing daily math activities and 68% reported reading to children daily. ...
Article
Research Findings: This study provides a framework for categorizing one subset of the large and heterogeneous group of home-based child care providers, unlisted paid providers. We analyzed data on unlisted paid home-based child care providers (n = 448) from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education conducted in the United States. We used latent profile analysis to explore how providers align into profiles based on key characteristics related to their caregiving beliefs, self-reported instructional practices, professional engagement, and family supportive practices. Findings reveal that unlisted paid home-based providers align into three profiles: Low Instruction, Low Professional Development (51.3%, n = 230); Higher Instruction (35.2%, n = 158); and Engaged with Outside Systems (13.4%, n = 60). Results suggest that there is variation in providers’ instructional practices, family supports, and professional engagement activities among profiles. Additionally, provider age, enrollment characteristics, and neighborhood urban density predicted profile membership. Practice or Policy: Results provide insight into the design and implementation of quality improvement supports for this subset of home-based child care providers. Using this typology can help match unlisted paid home-based providers with supports that align with their beliefs and practices. It also adds to the limited research base about this subset of providers that can be used to guide practices and policies related to home-based child care.
... Options for nonparental child care vary; however, the majority of parents rely on center-based group child cares (GCC), home-based family child cares (FCC), or a combination of these arrangements. 6 In British Columbia (BC), GCC and FCC are used about 20% and 25% of the time, respectively, whereas 40% use private arrangements, such as grandparents, other relatives, or nannies, and the rest are in preschool or other child care arrangements. 5 GCC typically involve multiple providers caring for large groups of children in age-segregated classrooms in a common public facility. ...
Article
Background: Physical activity (PA) is critical to early child development, and child care is a key setting for promotion. The authors investigated differences in daily PA and sedentary behavior practices as well as physical environments between family child care (FCC) and group child care (GCC) settings for children aged 3-5 years in Canada. Methods: Group child care (n = 581) and FCC (n = 357) managers completed surveys assessing the implementation of PA promoting practices and description of their environments. Crosstabulation and chi-square tests of association were used to examine differences between GCC and FCC. Results: The prevalence of facilities implementing 120 minutes of active play (odds ratio [OR] 2.23; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.58-3.15), <30 minutes on screens (OR 1.35; 95% CI, 1.02-1.80), and 60-minute outdoors daily (OR 1.99; 95% CI, 1.4-2.9) was more likely in FCC compared with GCC. However, implementation of fundamental movement skill activities (OR 1.40; 95% CI, 1.01-1.92), breaking up prolonged sitting (OR 1.86; 95% CI, 1.36-2.5), and outdoor space for large group running games (OR 1.74; 95% CI, 1.07-2.83) were more likely in GCC. Conclusions: Child care setting was associated with daily PA and sedentary practices and outdoor space for PA. Interventions to support PA in child care should be tailored to different settings and the facilitators explored.
... Informal care (child care provided by family, friends, or neighbors (FFN)) is the most common type of child care arrangement (Douglass et al., 2017). Estimates of the number of children under the age of 5 who are in informal care range from 33 to 53 percent (Susman-Stillman and Banghart, 2008), and children from lower income families are more likely to have informal caregivers (Gordon et al., 2013;Shulman and Blank, 2007;Susman-Stillman and Banghart, 2008). In California, approximately 40 percent of children under the age of 5 are cared for by informal caregivers (Alarcon and Sangalang, 2015). ...
Article
Informal caregivers (family, friends, and neighbors) spend many hours each week with the children in their care and can have a significant impact on the children’s social-emotional and academic development. Unfortunately, many informal caregivers lack the knowledge of how to do so. We conducted a qualitative 2-year study to investigate informal caregivers’ motivations, assets, and needs. The caregivers received text messages to help them support child development. In Year 1, we used interviews to better understand the needs of informal caregivers and potential opportunities to scaffold their interactions with the children. In Year 2, we expanded the program and invited informal caregivers to complete a survey to extend what we learned in Year 1. Both kin and non-kin informal caregivers are highly motivated to support children’s social and academic development and have adequate material resources to provide enriching educational environments for the children. However, we find that informal caregivers often lack information on useful practices to support child development. The text messages helped informal caregivers to overcome both informational and behavioral barriers to caregiving and supporting child development.
... To exclude parent care from understanding the organization of care in families of young children is to miss an important aspect of care arrangements. Because we aimed to explore the organization of child care in all its complexity, we defined child care by both formality and level of regulation, and included exclusive parental care as a category of care used by families to cover-off paid work responsibilities (Gordon, Colaner, Usdansky, & Melgar, 2010; see Table 1 for our full child care typology). ...
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This article aims to explore how child care is organized in families, documenting how mothers produce their individual child care solution, or “patchwork”, within the context of Canada’s underfunded and fragmented child care system. In a sample of 109 mothers from Alberta, Canada, where child care is conceptualized as primarily a private family responsibility, we use an ecocultural theoretical framework and a gender lens to 1) identify the constraints that influenced what kinds of child care mothers used, 2) explore the organization of day-to-day child care arrangements, and 3) explicate the accommodations and flexibility required to sustain the family routine. We show that in addition to previously recognized categories of child care—formal, informal, and mixed—families also used multiple informal and parent-plus (i.e., parental plus non-parental) child care. The procurement and management of child care—particularly when multiple care providers were involved—was gendered, often invisible, and required substantial accommodations and flexibility by mothers. We propose a day-care plus policy model of child care, where formal arrangements are supplemented as required. This policy model could help families avoid the complex scenarios we conceptualize as chaotic flexibility and assist families in achieving sustainable flexibility in the organization of care.
... multiple ECEC options to benefit their children the most. Even parents may use more than one type of arrangements in order to obtain all aspects of quality that they wish for their children. This depends on the family demography, parents' level of education, type of occupation they have and also the child characteristics like age, sex, and health (Gordon et. al 2013;Hewett et al. 2014). ...
Thesis
Early childhood education is one of the most significant interventions in human life because it is the most critical period when the foundations are laid for life-long development. It is even more important in the context of developing countries where a considerable number of children cannot perform to their full potential due to poor learning environment and existence of different forms of child poverty. India has one of the world’s largest and universalized early education programme named Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in operation since 1975. Besides, there exist several private early educational provisions, which are relatively recent, in many parts of the country. Available information suggests that about fifty to sixty percent of eligible children have access to early education in India, which means a considerable number of children still denied the access to any early childhood educational experience. Besides, recent trend suggests an increasing preference towards private preschools, even though the public provision i.e. ICDS is there which is free of any financial cost. The demand for early childhood education is endogenous and comes from parents; therefore, a large source of variation in preschool attendance may come from factors related to parents and extended families. Thus, the present study, footed on an empirical analysis, tries to investigate reasons behind the unequal opportunities in early childhood education in India from a demand-side perspective. The aim is to disentangle two interrelated forms of variations in early childhood education: First, to find out, which are the determinants of parental decision of sending (or not sending) children to preschool? Second, for those parents who send their children to preschool, which are the determinants behind the choice of a particular type of preschool? It has been found that the main reason for sending children to preschool is early education and school readiness. Results reveal that preschool attendance depends mainly on parents’ attitude towards early education, which varies across different socioeconomic groups. Whether parents consider the importance of early education plays a deterministic role in preschool attendance by children. Parents’ educational level has been found to play a deterministic role in this regard, and higher the level of education achieved by parents greater is the probability of their children attended preschool. Besides, unequal opportunity in early childhood education can also be attributed to availability and accessibility of existing early educational provisions up to certain extent. Particularly, the regional variation in supply may play an important role in widening the difference in access to early childhood education. Furthermore, the choice of a type of preschool was mainly grounded on stratification based the socioeconomic status of parents. In general, Anganwadi centers (public preschools) were attended by most of the children and were particularly popular among families from the lower socioeconomic strata. Private preschools, on the other hand, were considered of “better” quality and represented the “status” of socioeconomically better off families. It was also an attractive choice for socioeconomically upward mobile families. The evidence is clear that the reason behind the unequal opportunity in ECE is multi-layered with several factors; both from demand side as well as supply side can be held responsible. Educational, occupational, and social factors all operate to create differences in preschool attendance, with educational factors appearing to carry the greatest share of the variance. Therefore, policies are clearly needed to increase demand for early childhood education on one hand and ensuring availability and ease in accessibility of it on the other.
... Relative care in particular tends to be the most flexible and least expensive care option for families, given that many relatives do not take payment from the families they serve (Brandon, 2005;Brown-Lyons et al., 2001). Families with low incomes are generally more likely to utilize FFN care than families with higher incomes, although all families with infants and toddlers are more likely to use informal care than families with preschool-age children or older, regardless of income (Brown-Lyons et al., 2001;Gordon, Colaner, Usdansky, & Melgar, 2013;Shulman & Blank, 2007;Susman-Stillman & Banghart, 2008). ...
Article
Research Findings: Using a structured qualitative case study method, this study examined one urban school readiness initiative's efforts to identify and engage family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) care providers to promote school readiness in underserved and immigrant communities. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with 23 FFN providers, 14 parent leaders, and 35 community partners in five urban neighborhoods. Results show that 1) a community-organizing approach was the primary method of engaging FFN providers, 2) FFN providers self-reported positive impacts of their engagement for both themselves and the children in their care, and 3) the inclusion of FFN providers elicited many strong feelings among partners about potential benefits and liabilities of supporting FFN care, which in some cases acted as a barrier to successful engagement of FFN providers. Practice and policy: Results highlight key strategies and potential benefits of engaging FFN providers in comprehensive school readiness systems. The tensions that arose regarding the engagement of FFN providers point to the importance of addressing misconceptions of FFN care and its value to children, families, and communities in order to ensure a shared commitment and understanding of the value and possible benefits of such a strategy. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/n3tkPVNPyGcKwPHf6DRt/full
... Furthermore, due to data limitations, we could not account for "combinations of quality" experienced through multiple care settings or intensity of exposure (e.g., age at entry or hours per week), and we could not assess the role of quality as mediator among toddlers. Existing research highlights the importance of multiple arrangements and care intensity, and also suggests that the relative benefits of formal settings over informal settings may depend on children's age Gordon, Colaner, Usdansky, & Melgar, 2013). Expanding the current analysis to address these issues would therefore be illuminating. ...
Article
This study leverages nationally representative data (N ≈ 6,000) to examine the magnitude of quality differences between (a) formal and informal early childhood education and care providers; (b) Head Start, prekindergarten, and other center-based care; and (c) programs serving toddlers and those serving preschoolers. It then documents differences in children's reading and math skills at age 5 between those who had enrolled in formal and informal settings. Cross-sector differences are substantially reduced when accounting for a set of quality measures, though these measures do less to explain more modest differences in outcomes within the formal sector. Results inform current efforts aimed at improving the quality of early childhood settings by highlighting the large quality differences across sectors and their relationship with child development.
... Similarly, parents in this study tended to enroll their children in centers where providers spoke their children's first language. This finding is consistent with sociocultural theory (Hernandez et al., 2011;Rogoff, 2003) and prior research demonstrating that some DLL parents desired a culturally-matched ECE arrangement so that their child could maintain connections to family members and cultural experiences in their home country (Gordan et al., 2013;Miller et al., 2013;Vesely, 2013;Ward et al., 2011) and the parents could have a provider with whom they could speak with ease (Vesely, 2013). As determined by Ward et al. (2011), these parents assumed that children would learn English in school through sheer exposure to the language, but they would only be able to maintain their home language abilities and skills if their providers also spoke the language. ...
Article
Data from the Head Start Impact Study (N = 1141) and the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey, 2009 Cohort (N = 825) were used to describe child care enrollment decisions among Spanish-speaking Dual Language Learner (DLL) families. In particular, logistic regression models tested which child, family, and institutional characteristics predicted enrollment in early care and education (ECE) settings that used Spanish for instruction versus enrollment in settings that did not use Spanish. Results showed that whether the child’s first language was exclusively Spanish and whether other DLL families previously attended the ECE arrangement strongly predicted whether that child enrolled. Policy implications for Head Start-eligible Spanish-speaking DLLs are discussed.
Article
State-level child care licensing regulations dictate required policy elements and allowable disciplinary options available to programs, with permitted exclusionary discipline strategies ranging from a brief time-out to expulsion. This national review presents a qualitative content analysis of exclusionary discipline regulations within state-level, center-based child care licensing policies. As exclusionary discipline is disproportionally applied to boys, children of color, and children with disabilities, examining what is and is not allowed in terms of exclusionary discipline is important to ensure equity and access. The findings include an overview of the allowed versus prohibited exclusion practices, and within-program versus out-of-program exclusions, including expulsions, as well as details regarding specificity in required policy and practice at the program level. The findings are discussed in terms of implications for policymakers, researchers, and practitioners.
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Article
Early childhood development is considered a crucial component for sustainable development, and parents’ roles in this regard is unambiguously acknowledged. However, the evidence is sparsely available from developing countries like India on how parents can influence access to the early childhood development program. This study, based on an empirical footing, investigates whether parental attitude may lead to unequal opportunities in children’s access to preschools in India. The study portrays that the negative or indifferent attitude of parents predicts significantly lower access to preschools. Also, parents’ education can be held responsible for the variation in parents’ attitudes toward early education and care. A two-prong policy measure is thus suggested by educating parents on one hand and involving them in the implementation process of childhood development programs on the other.
Article
This study provides estimates for the impact of centre-based care participation during pre-kindergarten on Latino children’s academic readiness skills at kindergarten-entry. Using the ECLS-K:2011 dataset, findings indicate that Latino children who participated in centre-based care during their pre-kindergarten year had significantly higher English oral language (ES = 0.112, p < .05), reading (ES = 0.151, p < .001), and math scores (ES = 0.117, p < .05) than their peers who did not participate in such programmes. Additionally, children from lower SES homes especially benefitted in terms of oral language skills from participating in centre-based care. These results suggest that efforts should be made to increase the participation of Latino children in centre-based preschool, which can play a role in increasing their academic readiness skills.
Article
As the provision of publicly funded pre-kindergarten has expanded in recent years, public programs for infants and toddlers have received relatively little policy attention. However, federal, state, and local governments are now trying to promote quality in family child care and center-based programs that serve infants and toddlers, with an emphasis on workforce development. Despite the developmental importance of the first years in a child’s life, infant and toddler teachers in family child care and centers remain greatly under-studied in the research literature. This descriptive study seeks to help fill that gap by comparing the characteristics and views of family child care and center-based infant and toddler teachers in the context of New York City, where ambitious policies to promote the quality of infant and toddler programs have focused on workforce development in both settings. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected in 2019 via online surveys of 32 center-based and 30 family child care teachers, and then analyzed quantitatively to identify similarities and differences between the two groups. The results can inform the design of policies in New York City, other cities, and states that seek to promote the quality of infant and toddler care in different settings.
Article
Gender disparities in academic achievement are of longstanding scholarly and societal concern. In the extensive literature on this topic, however, relatively few studies have considered the non-parental child care contexts where children spend their earliest years. This state of the evidence differs from disparities by race-ethnicity and socioeconomic status, where differences in types of child care attended have been considered. The current study provides a national portrait of gender differences in the type of child care attended among preschool-aged children in the United States. Framed by the accommodation model, we found boys were more likely than girls to attend centers in higher socio-economic status families, but the reverse was true among less affluent families. Parents’ general perspectives that center-based or home-based child care was better for preschool-aged children’s development and safety also differed when the study child was a boy versus girl in these higher and lower socio-economic status families. Because preschool-aged children’s center-based child care attendance has been associated with academic school readiness, we encourage future studies to probe these findings as part of continued efforts to understand and address gender disparities in average levels of school progress and achievement.
Article
Non-parental arrangements for young children serve a dual function as supports for parental activities and educational inputs for children. However, arrangements that are suited to meet families’ specific needs and preferences are sometimes in tension with experts’ definitions of “quality.” Researchers and policymakers increasingly emphasize that educational goals cannot be met until this tension is reconciled. I offer new institutionalism as a conceptual framework for these emerging conversations and propose two ideal-typical institutional logics: the logic of the family and the logic of education. This perspective emphasizes that different expectations and goals are related to individuals’ differing social and institutional locations. Secondary analyses of the National Institute of Child Health and Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD) data offer preliminary empirical evidence.
Article
This paper seeks to establish whether sociology departments should provide training in evaluation methodologies. First, the authors look at the current status of evaluation methodology courses within the offerings of sociology departments by examining course offerings from a sampling of sociology departments in doctoral and master’s level programs across the United States. The authors then discuss whether evaluation courses should be offered in sociology departments at the undergraduate, masters, or doctoral levels and whether there are career opportunities for sociologists trained in evaluation research. The authors conclude with reasons why evaluation courses should be offered within sociology departments.
Article
This introduction to the special section on understanding and improving quality in family, child care gives an overview of the eight papers included in the special section with implications for, future research and policy directions.
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As women approach parity with men in their representation in the U.S. labor force, child care has become a critical concern both for families and for community development professionals. In this paper, we review recent literature on parental child care decisions and on socio-economic differences in child care utilization. We contrast two bodies of theoretical and empirical research on the determinants of child care arrangements, comparing models of individual consumption choice with models of socially constructed or situated patterns of action. This research suggests that parental child care decisions may be best understood as accommodations—to family and employment demands, social and cultural expectations, available information, and financial, social, and other resources—that often reproduce other forms of economic and social stratification.
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The second half of the 20th century witnessed substantial changes in the lives of young children as maternal employment increased and more children participated in nonparental care arrangements. The available evidence indicates that these care arrangements vary widely in quality, amount, and type (NICHD ECCRN, 1996, 2000a; U.S. Census Bureau, 2003). These variations and the large number of children in care (more than 10 million children in the United States in 1999) have raised several questions: Does quality of early child care matter? Do amount and timing of early child care matter? Does type of early child care matter? Answers to these questions are important for parents and policy makers who are interested in the individual and collective well-being of children. The answers also are important for developmental theory because of their relevance to such fundamental issues in the discipline as the role of early versus later experience and the efficacy of enrichment and intervention efforts.
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Effects of early child care on children's functioning at the age of 41/2 years wee a examined in the NICHD (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Study of Early Child Care, a prospective longitudinal study of more than 1,000 children. Even after controlling for multiple child and family characteristics, children's development was predicted by early child-care experience. Higher-quality child care, improvements in the quality of child care, and experience in center-type arrangements predicted better pre-academic skills and language performance at 41/2 years. More hours of care predicted higher levels of behavior problems according to caregivers. Effect sizes associated with early child-care experiences were evaluated in relation to effect sizes obtained for two other well-recognized influences on early development: parenting and poverty. The findings indicated the importance (and relative independence) of quantity, quality, and type of child care for children's development just prior to the time that children initiate formal schooling.
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Article
Child care has become the norm for young children in the United States. In 1995, 59 percent of children who were 5 years or younger were in nonparental care arrangements on a regular basis (Hofferth, Shauman, Henke, and West, 1998). This care typically began at early ages and lasted substantial hours: with 44 percent of infants under the age of 1 year were in nonparental care for an average of 31 hours a week. In the late preschool years, 84 percent of 4- to 5-year-olds were recorded as being in child care for an average of 28 hours per week. The use of nonparental care in the United States is expected to grow even further as welfare reform is fully implemented (Vandell, 1998). It is within this framework of widespread and early-age use that questions about child care quality have been raised. Among child care researchers, the established view is that child care quality contributes to children's developmental outcomes, higher quality care being associated with better developmental outcomes and poorer quality care being associated with poorer outcomes for children (Clarke-Stewart and Fein, 1983; Phillips, 1987). This view is reflected in Michael Lamb's (1998) comprehensive critique of child care research that was published in the Handbook of Child Psychology. Lamb concluded, based on extant research, that: "Quality day care from infancy clearly has positive effects on children's intellectual, verbal, and cognitive development, especially when children would otherwise experience impoverished and relatively unstimulating home environments. Care of unknown quality may have deleterious effects." (p. 104)
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The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care compared 3 statistical methods that adjust for family selection bias to test whether child care type and quality relate to cognitive and academic skills. The methods included: multiple regression models of 54-month outcomes, change models of differences in 24- and 54-month outcomes, and residualized change models of 54-month outcomes adjusting for the 24-month outcome. The study was unable to establish empirically which model best adjusted for selection and omitted-variable bias. Nevertheless, results suggested that child care quality predicted cognitive outcomes at 54 months, with effect sizes of .04 to .08 for both infant and preschool ages. Center care during preschool years also predicted outcomes across all models.
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We use qualitative and quantitative data from a multi-year study of low-income families included in New Hope, an experimental anti-poverty intervention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to understand why low-income families’ use of program-based child care as well as subsidies offered to pay for such care is often low and/or episodic. Ethnographic analyses from 38 families in experimental and control groups suggest that child care choices and subsidy use must fit into the family daily routines and with the beliefs people have about child care. Both ecocultural theory and parents’ own reports of child care decisions suggest four themes accounting for child care choice: material and social resources; conflicts in the family; values and beliefs about parenting and child development; and predictability and stability of child care. Child care subsidy programs can be more effective if they offer greater flexibility and a range of options that better fit into the varied daily routines of the low-income families they are intended to serve.
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Article
Ring chromosome is a structural abnormality that is thought to be the result of fusion and breakage in the short and long arms of chromosome. Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS) is a well-known congenital anomaly in the ring chromosome 4 with a partial deletion of the distal short arm. Here we report a 10-month-old male of mosaic ring chromosome 4 with the chief complaint of severe short stature. He showed the height of -4 standard deviation, subtle hypothyroidism and mild atrial septal defect/ventricular septal defect, and also a mild language developmental delay was suspected. Brain magnetic resonance imaging showed multifocal leukomalacia. Chromosomal analysis of the peripheral blood showed the mosaic karyotype with [46,XY,r(4)(p16q35)[84]/45,XY,-4[9]/91,XXYY, dic r(4;4)(p16q35;p16q35)[5]/46,XY,dic r(4;4)(p16q35;p16q35)[2]]. FISH study showed the deletion of the 4p subtelomeric region with the intact 4q subtelomeric and WHS region. Both paternal and maternal karyotypes were normal. We compared the phenotypic variation with the previously reported cases of ring chromosome 4. The ring chromosome 4 with the subtelomeric deletion of short arm seems to be related with the phenotype of short stature.
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Article
Main and interactive effects of child care quality, stability, and multiplicity on infants' attachment security, language comprehension, language production, and cognitive development at 15 months were examined using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care. Thirty-nine percent of the infants in this sample experienced arrangement change, and 46% experienced multiple concurrent arrangements during the first 15 months. As in previous studies, concurrent quality, average quality, and quality slope significantly predicted cognitive and language development. There was some evidence that certain forms of unstable child care--including nonfamilial change, familial to nonfamilial change, and within-home to out-of-home change--were associated with poorer language development. Multiple child care arrangements involving family members positively predicted language comprehension; multiple care involving a mix of family and non-relative caregivers negatively predicted language comprehension. Interactions among variables exhibited "effects in context." That is, under conditions of low or moderate quality in the primary care arrangement, the use of fewer multiple arrangements was associated with higher language scores; under conditions of high primary care quality, the use of more multiple arrangements was associated with higher language scores.
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Article
Effective early childhood intervention and child care policies should be based on an understanding of the effects of child care quality and type on child well-being. This article describes methods for securing unbiased estimates of these effects from nonexperimental data. It focuses on longitudinal studies like the one developed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Early Child Care Research Network. This article first describes bias problems that arise in analyses of nonexperimental data and then explains strategies for controlling for biases arising from parental selection of child care. Next, it comments on attrition in longitudinal studies and outlines some strategies for addressing possible attrition bias. Finally, it discusses the need to translate "effect sizes" derived from these studies into the kinds of cost and benefit information needed by policy makers.
Article
This chapter argues that, to truly understand the impact of culturally responsive care on children's outcomes, definitions must be strengthened and measurement strategies must be improved and expanded. Thus, the broad goals of the chapter are to 1) provide definitions of culturally responsive care, 2) propose a new framework for considering the conceptual links between culturally responsive care and quality, 3) review existing measurement approaches for culturally responsive care, 4) describe new and promising measurement strategies, 5) propose an expansion of school readiness predictors, 6) review and make clear recommendations for continued research on this topic, and 7) review implications for policy.
Article
Debates rage in the K-12 sector over the probable effects of school-choice programs - often with scarce evidence of their institutional dynamics and local effects. Meanwhile, the preschool sector has become a lively and sizable mixed market of public and private organizations, financed by parental fees and over $6 billion in public funds each year. The sector offers an intriguing setting for studying the long-term access and equity effects that result from liberalized market conditions. This article focuses on the considerably lower proportion of Latino parents who select a formal preschool or child-care center for their three- to five-year-old youngsters. We empirically focus on the influence of ethnicity, maternal education, family structure, and preliteracy practices on parents' propensity to select preschools and center-based programs. After controlling for the effects of maternal employment and household income, we find that children - across all ethnic groups - are less likely to enter preschools when they are younger (age three, not four-five years), when a father or a nonparent adult resides in the household, when the mother has low school attainment, and when children's books are less evident in the household. Latino families are distinguished, in part, by these family characteristics; in addition, the negative relationship between Latino status and nonselection of a preschool persists after accounting for these effects. We then report initial qualitative evidence, revealing clear cultural conflicts that may discourage Latinos' use of preschools. We discuss the importance of understanding how ethnic variation in family structure and cultural preferences regarding child rearing interact with secular conceptions of liberalized markets.
Article
This study uses data on 469 employed mothers from the 1987 National Survey of Families and Households to examine the ways both single and married mothers of preschoolers combine child care arrangements for preschool children and what factors affect use of multiple versus single child care arrangements. Married mothers on average use fewer hours of care from fathers and relatives than do single mothers, but both fathers and relatives provide a substantial proportion of the total hours of child care in multiple care combinations. Logistic regression analyses find that mothers with a varying work schedule, those who work more than 40 hours per week, those with more education, and those in families with the father as main child care provider are more likely to use multiple care arrangements. Mothers working less than 20 hours per week are less likely to use multiple care.
Article
To examine relations between time in nonmaternal care through the first 4.5 years of life and children's socioemotional adjustment, data on social competence and problem behavior were examined when children participating in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care were 4.5 years of age and when in kindergarten. The more time children spent in any of a variety of nonmaternal care arrangements across the first 4.5 years of life, the more externalizing problems and conflict with adults they manifested at 54 months of age and in kindergarten, as reported by mothers, caregivers, and teachers. These effects remained, for the most part, even when quality, type, and instability of child care were controlled, and when maternal sensitivity and other family background factors were taken into account. The magnitude of quantity of care effects were modest and smaller than those of maternal sensitivity and indicators of family socioeconomic status, though typically greater than those of other features of child care, maternal depression, and infant temperament. There was no apparent threshold for quantity effects. More time in care not only predicted problem behavior measured on a continuous scale in a dose-response pattern but also predicted at-risk (though not clinical) levels of problem behavior, as well as assertiveness, disobedience, and aggression.
Article
Using data from the National Household Education Survey of 1995, this paper links family income, ethnicity, and child’s age to child care characteristics such as type of setting, hours spent in nonparental care, and number of care arrangements. Findings indicate that children from families with incomes that are at least twice the poverty threshold are more likely than other children to be in nonparental care and generally spend more hours in nonparental care. Ethnicity, not poverty, is related to use of relative-care; Black infants and toddlers are more likely to be in relative-care than White or Hispanic infants and toddlers, regardless of poverty status. Few income, ethnicity, or age differences emerged in analyses of characteristics parents prefer in the selection of type of care. The type of care a family uses is related to the extent to which the family values a setting that will care for sick children and values having a care provider with training.
Article
This study uses the Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) data from 1997 to investigate the degree to which child, family, classroom, teacher, and Head Start program characteristics are related to children's school readiness and continued development over the four-year-old Head Start year. Latent class analyses were used to examine the constellation of school readiness competencies within individual Head Start children in both the fall and spring of the four-year-old Head Start year. Multinomial regression analyses examined patterns of association between demographic and program characteristics and profile membership over time. Four distinct developmental profiles were found in the sample in the fall, and three were found in the spring. Furthermore, a substantial proportion of Head Start children (43%) moved from a developmental profile including some risk to a strengths profile between the fall and spring of the Head Start year. Child age, family structure, parental educational attainment, classroom quality and teacher's level of educational attainment emerged as important factors associated with stability and change in profile membership over the four-year-old Head Start year, but receipt of social services through Head Start was not associated with stability or change in profile membership.
Article
Nearly 8 million children of employed parents are in nonrelative child care, but little is known about safety risks. Drawing on the literature reporting mistakes in organizations and medical errors, the authors analyze fatalities in U.S. child care. Types of child care vary greatly in organizational features, from formally organized centers to informal care offered in providers' or children's homes. This allows analysis of how the social organization of care affects risks. A unique national dataset is used to provide a lower bound on fatalities and to analyze fatality rates across types of care. Data come from three sources: (1) a systematic national media search for 1985-2003, (2) legal records of civil and criminal court cases involving fatalities and serious injuries in child care, and (3) ethnographic data from state records in seven states. Overall child care is quite safe, but there are striking differences in fatality rates across types of care. Center care is significantly safer than care offered in private homes and offers particular protection against fatalities from violence. Detailed narratives of how fatalities occur suggest that the organization of work is a crucial factor in risk differences.
Article
The authors outline two perspectives on the respective roles of families and preschools in socializing and educating young children. The family-oriented perspective emphasizes the primacy of parents as educators, moral guides, and nurturers of their children. The early childhood education perspective is more likely to view preschools as independent of the family. This perspective highlights the scientific basis of the early socialization enterprise and emphasizes research on universal developmental sequences. These two perspectives yield distinct responses to important policy questions about child care. Those with a family-oriented perspective advocate obtaining descriptive accounts of parents' goals, values, and practices and creating child care choices that reflect these considerations. Early childhood education advocates are concerned about promoting universal guidelines based upon professional expertise to ensure high quality and feel that parents will select this care if given appropriate education concerning its value to their young children. The authors argue that attempts to improve quality and increase supply must integrate the culturally based preferences of parents with knowledge about universal developmental processes gleaned from research and practice.
Article
Regular nonparental care during the first five years of life has become the norm, rather than the exception, during the past 30 years in the United States. Parents and professionals have expressed concerns about the impact of such care on children's development. Initially, much of the research focused on whether, when, and how much nonparental care the child received, suggesting that early and extensive care might negatively affect children's social and cognitive development. More sophisticated studies followed in which child care quality and family characteristics known to be related to both quality of care and child outcomes were also examined. Much of this literature indicates that children who experience better-quality care tend to display more optimal cognitive and social development than children who experience lower-quality care, although the associations tend to be modest. Implications for public policy are discussed.
Article
In this study, the concept of ‘goodness-of-fit’ between the child’s temperament and the environment, introduced by Thomas and Chess [Temperament and Development, Brunner/Mazel, New York, 1977], is applied within the setting of center day care. Mothers and primary professional caregivers of 186 children, aged 6–30 months, participated in this study. The child’s problem behaviors were assessed with the CBCL Teacher Report Form [Achenbach, T.M., Guide for the Caregiver–Teacher Report Form for Ages 2–5, Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, 1997]. The child’s socio-emotional well-being in day care was measured with the Leiden Inventory for the Child’s Well-Being in Day Care. The Infant Characteristics Questionnaire measured the child’s temperament. Children with an easier temperament showed less internalizing and total problem behavior and more well-being. The results suggest that for children with a more difficult temperament, several parallel care arrangements interfere with the process of adapting to the day care setting. Also, our results indicate that in the group of children with greater availability of trusted caregivers, a more easy-going temperament was associated with more well-being. The association between temperament and well-being was not found in the group of children with less access to trusted caregivers.
Article
Over half of mothers of infants in the United States are employed outside the home at least part-time, and most of these women must arrange for infant child care. Although many researchers have explored the effects of child care on children's development, less is known about why and how working mothers choose infant child care. Research in this area is greatly needed because high-quality, affordable infant care is not widely available in the United States at present. Thus, parents must carefully search for and select their child care arrangements—a task made more difficult for some parents because of limited economic resources and low availability of high-quality care arrangements in their area. A growing body of research has examined influences on mothers' child care choice behaviors. We review this research within the context of a theoretical model that relates such behaviors to the environmental context (e.g., child care availability), maternal beliefs related to child care (e.g., child care preferences), child factors (e.g., temperament), and demographic characteristics of the mother. We conclude with recommendations for future research in this area and a discussion of public policy considerations.
Article
In this article, we use data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999) to answer 3 questions. The first question is: What structural features and caregiver characteristics predict more positive caregiver behavior in child care for 1- to 3-year-old children? Positive caregiving was assessed in 5 types of care (centers, child-care homes, and care provided by in-home sitters, grandparents, and fathers) when children in the NICHD study were 15, 24, and 36 months of age (Ns = 612, 630, and 674). Across ages and types of care, positive caregiving was more likely when child-adult ratios and group sizes were smaller, caregivers were more educated, held more child-centered beliefs about childrearing, and had more experience in child care, and environments were safer and more stimulating. The second question is: What differences in caregiving are associated with the type of child care and the child's age? The highest level of positive caregiving was provided by in-home caregivers, including fathers and grandparents, caring for only 1 child, closely followed by home-based arrangements with relatively few children per adult. The least positive caregiving was found in center-based care with higher ratios of children to adults. By 36 months of age, the significance of child-adult ratio decreased, and in-home arrangements became less positive. The third question is: What is the overall quality of child care for 1- to 3-year-olds in the United States? Observed positive caregiving was determined to be "very uncharacteristic" for 6% of the children in the NICHD sample, "somewhat uncharacteristic" for 51%, "somewhat characteristic" for 32%, and "highly characteristic" for 12%. An extrapolation to the quality of care in the United States was derived by applying NICHD observational parameters, stratified by maternal education, child age, and care type, to the distribution of American families documented in the National Household Education Survey (Hofferth, Shauman, Henke, & West, 1998). Positive caregiving was extrapolated to be "very uncharacteristic" for 8% of children in the United States ages 1 to 3 years, "somewhat uncharacteristic" for 53%, "somewhat characteristic" for 30%, and "highly characteristic" for 9%.
Article
This study examined the use of multiple, concurrent, nonparental child-care arrangements among children under 5 with employed mothers in the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (N= 759). Older children, those primarily cared for in informal child care, those living in cohabitating or single-parent households, and those whose mothers were employed for 40 or fewer hours per week were likely to be in multiple arrangements. Higher quality primary child-care and lower maternal satisfaction with primary care predicted the subsequent use of multiple arrangements. Little support for income differences in selection into multiple arrangements was found. Findings highlight the importance of child-care characteristics and structure in child-care choice. Policy implications are discussed.
Article
Low-income working mothers face significant child care challenges. These challenges are particularly salient in an era of welfare reform, when welfare recipients are under increased pressure to find a job. The current study examines how child care demands are negotiated for an urban sample of low-income mothers. The sample includes a racially and ethnically diverse group of 57 respondents with and without welfare experience who are mothering children under 13 years of age and working in entry-level jobs. Findings suggest that respondents seek arrangements that are affordable, convenient, and safe, and informal arrangements may be most compatible with convenience and cost considerations. Informal care is not universally available, however, andmay be less reliable. Implications for child care policy are discussed.
Article
Study of the effect of transitions on individual and family outcomes is central to understanding families over the life course. There is little consensus, however, on the appropriate statistical methods needed to study transitions in panel data. This article compares lagged dependent variable (LDV) and change score (CS) methods for analyzing the effect of events in two-wave panel data. The methods are described, and their performances are compared both with a simulation and a substantive example using the National Survey of Families and Households two-wave panel. The results suggest that CS methods have advantages over LDV techniques in estimating the effect of events on outcomes in two-wave panel data.
Article
Early childhood education and care experiences play an important role in children's development and school readiness with, in general, sustained exposure to high quality, center-based care leading to positive outcomes. Hispanic parents have been shown to be less likely than others to place their children in center-based care, particularly when children are very young—a pattern that contrasts African American parents’ tendency for earlier use of center-based care. This paper examines child care choice from a contextual perspective. Using a multi-level modeling approach, we consider ethnicity and race, at the individual and neighborhood levels, in relation to the age at which children first participate in non-parental care and the type of care they first experience. Using data from the ECLS-K, the 1990 Census and other contextual sources, we demonstrate that Hispanic parents’ later use of care is explainable by economic and work participation factors at the family level, while neighborhood proportion of Hispanic individuals is associated with delayed entry into child care. In contrast, the observed early use of care among African American families persists after accounting for economic and work factors, and appears independent of differences in neighborhood context. Limitations and implications for policy and practice are discussed.
Article
Responding adequately to parental priorities for child care is important for shaping children’s early experiences and development, and for facilitating parenting at the nexus of work and caregiving roles. Although much research on child care choice has relied on variable-centered approaches that treat parental priorities as distinct and isolated, this article aims to understand parents’ care choices from a person-centered, holistic perspective. Using data from the National Household Education Survey of Early Childhood Program Participation of 2005 (n = 4570), we conduct latent class and multinomial logistic regression analyses, identifying four empirically and substantively distinctive classes of parents based on their scores on seven indicators of child care priority. Class 1 parents (35%) rank all seven indicators as very important. Class 2 parents (18%) prioritize practicality factors. Class 3 parents (9%) do not, on average, rank any of the indicators as highly important. Class 4 parents (37%) emphasize learning and quality-focused factors. Class membership is associated with child’s age, race/ethnicity, and parent respondent’s gender, age, employment status, and socio-economic status. After controlling for socio-demographic factors, parents in the learning-focused class are more likely to choose center-based cares whereas practicality-focused parents prefer home-based relative or non-relative care arrangements.
Article
This paper examines the effects of different child-care arrangements on children's cognitive and social proficiencies at the start of kindergarten. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, we identify effects using OLS, matching and instrumental variables estimates. Overall, center-based care raises reading and math scores, but has a negative effect for socio-behavioral measures. However, for English-proficient Hispanic children, the academic gains are considerably higher and the socio-behavioral effects are neutral. The duration of center-based care matters: the greatest academic benefit is found for those children who start at ages 2–3 rather than at younger or older ages; negative behavioral effects are greater the younger the start age. These patterns are found across the distributions of family income. The intensity of center-based care also matters: more hours per day lead to greater academic benefits, but increased behavioral consequences. However, these intensity effects depend on family income and race.
Article
Recent work reveals sharp disparities in which types of children participate in centers and preschools. Enrollment rates are especially low for Latino children, relative to Black and Anglo preschoolers, a gap that remains after taking into account maternal employment and family income. Early attempts to model parents’ likelihood of enrolling their youngster in a center have drawn heavily from the household-economics tradition, emphasizing the influence of cost and family income. Yet we show that, after controlling for household-economic factors, the household’s social structure and the mother’s language, child-rearing beliefs, and practices further help to predict the probability of selecting a center-based program. Children are more likely to be enrolled in a center when the mother defines child rearing as an explicit process that should impart school-related skills—reading to her youngster, frequenting the library, teaching cooperative skills, and speaking English. After taking these social factors into account, ethnic differences in center selection still operate: African American families continue to participate at higher rates for reasons that may not be solely attributable to family-level processes, such as greater access to Head Start centers or state preschools. In addition, the lower center selection rate for Latinos appears to be lodged primarily in those families which speak Spanish in the home, further pointing to how cultural preferences are diverse and interact with the local supply of centers. These findings stem from an analysis of whether, and at what age, a national sample of 3,624 children first entered a center, using discrete-time survival analysis. We discuss how center selection can be seen as one element of a broader parental agenda, linked to parents’ acculturation to middle-class Anglo commitments and involving the task of getting one’s child ready for school.
Article
In two studies in daycare centers, we investigated a newly developed index for flexible child care describing parents’ use of evening care and flexible attendance scheduling for their child. We examined the relation between this index together with stability in care, mother’s stress and the child’s temperament on the one hand, and quality of caregivers’ behavior and a child’s socio-emotional functioning in day care on the other. In Study I, the mothers and caregivers of 186 children (aged 6–30 months) participated in a survey. In Study II, approximately 18 months later, 52 children from Study I were observed in their daycare setting. Children showed more well-being in day care when they had few parallel care arrangements, and when there was more daily stability in staffing and grouping patterns. Unexpectedly, caregivers in groups with more stability in staffing and grouping patterns, showed less positive caregiving behavior. When staff turnover rate was higher, positive caregiving behavior was lower. Finally, children in more flexible child care showed more non-compliance.
Article
We reviewed nine studies in which children's cortisol levels at center daycare were assessed. Our first hypothesis, concerning intraindividual differences in cortisol levels across home and daycare settings, was also tested in a meta-analysis. Our main finding was that at daycare children display higher cortisol levels compared to the home setting. Diurnal patterns revealed significant increases from morning to afternoon, but at daycare only. The combined effect size for seven pertinent studies (n = 303) was r = .18 (CI .06–.29, p = .003). We examined all papers on possible associations between cortisol levels and quality of care, and the influences of age, gender, and children's temperament. Age appeared to be the most significant moderator of this relation. It was shown that the effect of daycare attendance on cortisol excretion was especially notable in children younger than 36 months. We speculate that children in center daycare show elevated cortisol levels because of their stressful interactions in a group setting.
Article
This study uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study [Reichman, N., Teitler, J., Garfinkel, I., & McLanahan, S. (2001). The fragile families and child wellbeing study: Sample and design. Children and Youth Services Review, 23, 303–326] to describe primary child care arrangements of employed, predominantly low-income mothers of 1-year olds, and to quantify their child care calculus in the post-welfare reform era. The sorting of children across arrangement types differs by mother's race/ethnicity: Hispanic children are most likely to be cared for maternal kin, Black children in organized centers, and White children by their fathers. Multinomial regression reveals that the association between race/ethnicity and arrangement type is largely – but not entirely – accounted for by mothers’ socioeconomic, household, job, and cultural characteristics; interaction tests show that the associations between arrangement type and both poverty status and marital status are contingent on race/ethnicity. These findings indicate that disadvantage does not translate into child care arrangements similarly across racial/ethnic groups and child care policy must take into account structural and cultural differences associated with parents’ race/ethnicity.
Article
We use observations from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and, Youth Development (SECCYD) to compare structural and process characteristics of child care centers, family child care homes (nonrelative care in a home setting) and care by relatives for 2-, 3- and 4.5-year-old children. Type of care differences in structural and caregiver characteristics were consistent across ages: centers had higher child-to-adult ratios and bigger groups; centers had caregivers with better education, more training in early childhood, and less traditional beliefs about child rearing. Children in centers experienced more cognitive stimulation, less frequent language interactions with adults, less frequent negative interactions with adults, and less television viewing than did those in other types of care. In centers and family child care homes compared to relative settings, children engaged in more positive and negative interactions with peers and spent more time in transition and unoccupied. Curvilinear associations were found between structural features of care and family income, particularly for caregiver education and training. In contrast, process measures of caregiving rose monotonically with family income. Children from high-income families experienced more sensitive care, more cognitive stimulation, and fewer negative interactions with adults than did those from low-income families. We interpret the findings by linking the structural features and caregiver training to the cognitive and social processes observed in different types of care. Future research designed to understand the influences of child care on children's behavior might benefit from using this more nuanced description of child care experiences.
Article
Child care homes are the most common type of child care in the U.S. for very young children who receive regular non-parental care. Compared to center-based care, much less is known about relations between structural and process quality within this type of care. Further, professional associations have developed guidelines based on number and ages of the children in the child care home, but these have been empirically examined. We asked two questions in secondary analyses of two large studies of over 300 child care homes. First, we identified the structural dimensions that best predicted global quality. Regression analyses replicated previously reported finding that caregiver training, but not ratio, was the structural characteristic that most consistently predicted observed global quality. Next, we compared observed quality of care in child care homes as a function of the professional association’s guidelines regarding group size weighted by age of the children. No reliable association between quality of care and ratio guidelines obtained. These findings suggest that parents and policy makers should rely more heavily on characteristics such as caregiver training or education than on group size or child:adult ratios as they make decisions about child care homes, at least among settings in which group sizes are small to moderate.
Article
Increasing numbers of low-income children are receiving regular nonparental care, yet knowledge is limited regarding whether child care settings meet the needs of low-income children and their parents. Using a sample of low-income, predominantly African-American and Hispanic children and families from low-income neighborhoods in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio (n = 238), the present study provides a descriptive view of the child care experiences of children (ages 2–5) and families. Results indicate that most children attend Head Start centers, other centers, or relative care, provided either within or outside of the child's home. Head Start programs were rated higher in overall developmental quality than all other types of care. Though unregulated home care settings scored lower on ratings of developmental quality, such settings appeared to be the types in which mothers felt most comfortable, and that best met family needs.
Article
This paper examines the selection and use of multiple methods and informants for the assessment of disruptive behavior syndromes and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, providing a critical discussion of (a) the bidirectional linkages between theoretical models of childhood psychopathology and current assessment techniques; and (b) current knowledge concerning the utility of different methods and informants for key clinical goals. There is growing recognition that children's behavior varies meaningfully across situations, and evidence indicates that these differences, in combination with informants' unique perspectives, are at least partly responsible for inter-rater discrepancies in reports of symptomatology. Such data suggest that we should embrace this contextual variability as clinically meaningful information, moving away from models of psychopathology as generalized traits that manifest uniformly across situations and settings, and toward theoretical conceptualizations that explicitly incorporate contextual features, such as considering clinical syndromes identified by different informants to be discrete phenomena. We highlight different approaches to measurement that embrace contextual variability in children's behavior and describe how the use of such tools and techniques may yield significant gains clinically (e.g., for treatment planning and monitoring). The continued development of a variety of feasible, contextually sensitive methods for assessing children's behavior will allow us to determine further the validity of incorporating contextual features into models of developmental psychopathology and nosological frameworks.
Article
A array of childcare and preschool options blossomed in the 1970s as the feminist movement spurred mothers into careers and community organizations nurtured new programs. Now a small circle of activists aims to bring more order to childhood, seeking to create a more standard, state-run preschool system. For young children already facing the rigors of play dates and harried parents juggling the strains of work and family, government is moving in to standardize childhood. Sociologist Bruce Fuller traveled the country to understand the ideologies of childhood and the raw political forces at play. He details how progressives earnestly seek to extend the rigors of public schooling down into the lives of very young children. Fuller then illuminates the stiff resistance from those who hold less trust in government solutions and more faith in nonprofits and local groups in contributing to the upbringing of young children. The call for universal preschool is a new front in the culture wars, raising sharp questions about American families, cultural diversity, and the appropriate role of the state in the lives of our young children. Standardized Childhood shows why the universal preschool movement is attracting such robust support—and strident opposition—nationwide.
Article
Nationally, 15% of children younger than 5 years regularly attend more than 1 child-care arrangement. An association between arrangement multiplicity and children's behavior problems has been identified, but previous research may be susceptible to measurement or omitted variable bias. This study used within-child fixed effects models to examine associations between changes in the number of concurrent, nonparental child-care arrangements and changes in mother- and caregiver-reported behavior among 2- and 3-year-old children in the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (N= 850). Increases in the number of arrangements were related to increases in children's concurrent behavior problems and decreases in prosocial behaviors, particularly among girls and younger children. Implications for policy and research are discussed.