Child Care Quality: Does It Matter and Does It Need to be Improved? (Full Report). Table 1


Arnett (1989) 59 Centers CG1 training (1. No training, 2. 2 courses Bermuda college, 3. 4 course training prog, 4. 4-yr college degree in ECE2 Parental Modernity Scale

CIS (Positive Interaction, Punitiveness, Detachment, Permissiveness)

ANCOVA CG1 w/ half or all the Bermuda College training less authoritarian in childrearing attitudes than cg w/ no training, rated higher on positive interaction and lower on detachment in interactions w/ children.

CG1 w/ 4-yr ECE2 degree diff from other 3 gps: childrearing attitudes less authoritarian, interact w/ children rated higher on Pos Interact and lower on Punitiveness & Detachment

Berk (1985) 37 Centers CG formal education & CG specialized training Observations of caregiver behavior ANOVAs and correlations College educated caregivers had more encouraging behaviors, more suggestions, less restrictive actions.
Blau (in press) 548 classrooms

(reanalysis of CQO data)

Centers Group size, ratio, CG experience, job tenure, ethnicity, formal education, specialized training ECERS, ITERS Pearson correlations,

Regressions with and without a fixed effect control for center ID

Simple correlations and regressions that did not include the fixed effect center control found lower group size, lower C:A ratio, and more CG training to be related to better ECERS scores; these relations were substantially reduced when the center fixed effect control was added to the model
Burchinal, Howes, & Kontos (in press) Total=244

Florida Child Care Study=144

California Licensing Study=100

Family Child Care CG1 Education, Formal and Informal Training experiences, experience as a child care provider, group size, business practices

Points(sum of number or children, weighted by age of children)

FDCRS, CIS Pearson Correlations







CG1 ed & experience better predictors of cc quality than C:A Ratios. CG1 w/ more edà more sensitive & rated higher on global quality.

More experienced CG1 slightly more detached and provide lower quality care

CG w/ more education tended to have settings w/ higher global quality ratings

CG experience was negatively related to observed quality in the licensed Family Child Care Study

Group size or ratio not related to observed quality of care.

Burchinal, Roberts, Nabors, & Bryant (1996) 79 Centers Director & observer reports of group size & C:A ratio; Teacher report of training & experience ITERS Pearson correlations Higher observed & reported C:A ratios were associated with lower ITERS scores

Higher CG training was associated with higher ITERS scores

Burchinal, et al. (in press) 27 Centers C:A Ratio3, CG1 Education, Group Size ITERS, ECERS Pearson Correlations Higher C:A Ratios3 were related lower global quality at 12 mos, 24 mos, & 36 mos

Higher group size were related to lower global quality at 24 mos & 36 mos

Higher teacher education was related to higher global quality at 12 mos & at 36 mos

Clarke-Stewart, et al. (2000) 15 mos=133


36 mos=131

Child Care Homes Group Size, Group Size Points, CG1 Education, Amount of specialized training, recent training ORCE-Positive Caregiving







Both correlational analyses & HLM analyses indicated overall quality of care measure by CC-HOME & by ratings of obs CG1 behavior was higher when CG1 were more highly educated, had more specialized training pertaining to children, and had received training in the past year, with the strongest effects evident at 36 mos. CG1 exhibited more pos caregiving when group sizes were smaller
Dunn (1993) 30 Day Care Centers CG1 Education, Child Major, Training, Center Exp4, Field Exp4, CG1 Age, Group Size, C:A Ratio3, ECERS Play Space, Variety, Divergent/Elaborative Interact, Praise/ Nurturance/ Redirection, Clear Limits, Total Limits Pearson Correlations CG with more experience in the field and larger group sizes was positively related higher ECERS scores.

Larger Group Sizes was positively related to more variety in classes. Higher ECERS scores were related to more divergent/elaborative interactions, and less total limits.

Dunn et al. (1994) 30 Day Care Centers Group Size, C:A Ratio3, CG1 Education, CG1 Exp4 in Field, CG1 Exp4 in Centers, CG1 Certification Lang/Reasoning (ECERS), Dev. Approp Act (ECERS), Variety, Literacy Act, Literacy Quality Pearson Correlations

Simultaneous Regression

Only one structural quality variable correlated w/ quality of environment. CG who held some form of teacher certification provided classes rated higher on literacy quality scale.
Elicker, Fortner-Wood, & Noppe (1999) 23 Family Day Care Group Size, C:A ratio3 Caregiver-Infant Involvement-AQS Pearson Correlations Smaller group size and less children per adultà more CG-Child Involvement

CG yrs experience, CG educational level, income, overall work satisfaction, work-related stress, control over work sched, work & family conflict not sig corr w/ CG-Child Involvement or Infant-CG attachment

Goelman (1988) 74 Center Day Care

Family Day Care

Caregiver Education Learning Activities, Social Development, Language Development, Creative Activities, Total Quality Pearson Correlations Higher CG Education was correlated with higher total quality scores in both family day care and center day care
Holloway, & Reichart-Erickson (1988) 15 Preschools & Day Care Centers Group Size, C:A Ratio3 ECOI Pearson Correlations Smaller group sizes were related to higher ratings on the Interaction Quality Composite and accommodation of varied groups.

C:A Ratio was not related to any ECOI Indicators.

Howes (1983) 40 Center Day Care & Family Day Care C:A Ratio3, Group Size, # Adults, CG1 years experience, training child development CG1 Beh (facilitative social, express pos affect, neg affect, restrict, responsivity) Pearson Correlations Caregivers in both settings w/ fewer children in their care, who worked shorter hours, w/ less housework responsibilities engaged in more facilitative social stimulation, expressed more positive affect, were more responsive, and less restrictive and negative.

Family day care caregivers who worked in spaces specifically designed to be safe & appropriate for children were less restrictive of toddler activity.

Howes (1997) Total=1065

Cost, Quality, Outcome Study(CQOS) =655

Florida Quality Improvement Study(FQIS)=410

Child Care Centers C:A Ratio3, CG1 Education, CG1 ECE2 Training CIS, AIS ANOVA CQOS: CG1 w/ BA or beyond degrees in ECE2 rated more sensitive than CG w/ AA degrees in ECE2, who were more sensitive than CG1 w/ other bkgds. CG1 w/ at least AA degree less harsh than CG1 in other bkgds. CG1 in classes in compliance w/ ratio standards rated more sensitive, less harsh, & less detached. FQIS: CG1 w/ at least BA in ECE2 rated more sensitive than CG1 w/ CDA training who were rated as more sensitive than all other CGs1. Caregivers w/ most advanced educationà most effective
Howes & Rubenstein (1985) 50


Center Daycare=11

Family Daycare=16

Home, Center Day Care, Family Day Care C:A Ratio3

Group Size

Caregiver-Child Interaction (Talk & Play, Restrict & Cry, Touch & Laugh) Pearson Correlations


Lower C:A Ratio predicted quality of CG1 -child interaction (i.e., social interactions-talk & play, touch & laugh, & less restrict & cry).

C. at home, in high C:A ratio3 FDC, & high C:A ratio3 CDC-->higher Restrict & Cry than in low C:A ratio3 FDC.

Smaller group sizes & lower C:A ratiosà higher Talk & Play & higher Touch & Laugh, less Restrict & Cry than children in larger groups & higher C:A ratios

Howes & Smith (1995) 150 Child Care Centers CG1 char (yrs ed + specialized training in ECE2), C:A Ratio3, Group Size ITERS, ECERS Pearson Correlations Classes w/ more educated & trained teachersà higher ITERS & ECERS scores. Infant-toddler classes w/ more educated & trained teachersà smaller group size. Preschool classes w/ more educated & trained teachersà smaller group size & fewer children per adult
Howes, Phillips, & Whitebook (1992) 143 Child Care Centers C:A Ratio3, Group Size Appropriate Caregiving, Developmentally Appropriate Activities Chi-Square Higher Child:Adult Ratios were in classrooms rated as inadequate in caregiving & rated as inadequate in activities. Children in classes w/ better ratios than children in classes w/ worse (higher)ratios experienced both caregiving & activities rated as good or very good.

Large group sizes were more likely to be rated as inadequate in caregiving and inadequate in activities. However, Smaller group sizes were also rated as inadeq in activities. Children in classes w/ smaller group sizes were more likely than children in classrooms exceeding these standards to experience developmentally appropriate activities. No association between group size and appropriate caregiving.

Howes, Whitebook, & Phillips (1992) 1300 Child Care Centers CC5 Experience, Specialized Training, Education ECERS, ITERS, Arnett Teacher Sensitivity Measure Pearson Correlations

Multiple Regression

CG1 Experience not good predictor of CG1 behavior. More formal education & more specialized child-related trainingà CG1 behaviors

Formal education better predictor than specialized training. Infant/Toddler CGs1 need more college-level specialized training than preschool teachers to be competent teachers.

Iutcovich, J., Fience, R., Johnson, J., Koppel, R., & Langan, F. (1997) 675


Group Home=70


Center, group home, family CG1 Education, CG1 yrs in field, CG1 salary, CG1 long term ed goal, Training Characteristics, Organizational Climate ITERS, ECERS, FDCRS Pearson Correlations Higher CG1 Salaryà higher ITERS & ECERS scores

Younger CG1, CG1 w/ more long term ed goals, evaluating appropriateness, and evaluate usefulness à higher FDCRS score

CGs1 w/ higher long term educational goals, more likely to evaluate appropriateness & usefulnessà Higher FDCRS scores

CG1 higher ratings of Professional growth, Clarity, Reward System, Goal Consensus, & Task Orientationà Higher ECERS Scores

Kontos, S., Howes, C., & Galinsky, E. (1996) Training Group=130

Regulated Providers=112

Family Day Care CG1 Training, C:A Ratio3, Group Size Process Quality: Arnett Scale of Provider Sensitivity, Adult Involvement Scale

Global Quality: FDCRS

Chi-Square/t-test The training group & the comparison group were similar on structural, process, and global quality. Providers in comparison gp cared for slightly more children per adult than training group.

Effects of trainingà no changes in Process quality

Effects of trainingà increased global quality in 2 of 3 sites.

NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (1996) 576 Center, child care homes, in-home sitters, grandparents, fathers Group Size, C:A Ratio3, Physical Environment

CG1 Characteristics (formal ed, specialized training, child care experience, beliefs about childrearing)

ORCE: Caregiver Interactions Pearson Correlations & Multiple Regression Analyses (backward elimination procedure) Caregivers rated as providing more positive caregiving when group sizes and C:A ratios3 were smaller & when cg held less-authoritarian beliefs about child rearing.

Small group sizes, low C:A ratios3, CG1 nonauthoritarian child-rearing beliefs, and safe, clean & stimulating physical environments consistently associated with positive caregiving behaviors within each of the different types of settings.

NICHD Early Child Care Research Network

(in press-a)

612 Center, child-care homes, in-home sitters, grandparents, fathers C:A Ratio3, Group Size, CG1 Education, CG1 Specialized Training, CG1 Beliefs, CG1 Experience ORCE (Positive caregiving frequency, Positive caregiving quality)

Global quality rating

Pearson Correlations & Simultaneous Multiple Regression Across all 3 ages (15, 24, & 36 mos) & types of care, smaller group sizes, lower C:A ratios3, CG1 had higher level of education, CG1 held more child-centered beliefs about childrearing, & more experience in child care, and environments were safer & more stimulatingà positive caregiving more likely. CG1 child care exper & specialized training not correlated any ages.

MR: Pos caregiving ratings sig higher when CG1 had more child-centered beliefs (all ages), higher levels of ed & more experience providing care (at 24 & 36 mos), & more specialized training (15 mos), & when lower C:A ratio3 & smaller gp sizes (15 & 24 mos)

Phillipsen, Burchinal, Howes, & Cryer (1997) 749 Total



Child Care Centers CG1 Background (Ed Level & Exper), Class Struct (C:A Ratio3 & Group Size)

CG1 Ed x A:C Ratio3, lead CG1 wages, center struct, direct bkgd, econ char center, state, & sector


Hierarchical Regressions

Structural measures predicted process quality more strongly in preschool than infant/toddler classes.

Infant/Toddler: process qual higher in classes w/ mod exper & better pd teachers, & more experienced directors.

Preschool: process quality higher in classes w/ CG1 w/ more education, moderate amount experience, & higher wages.

Better C:A ratios3, lower center enrollment, & lower proportion of Infant/Toddler & subsidized children in center also predicted higher process quality for preschool. Teacher wages strongly related to process quality in infant/toddler & preschool.

Ruopp, Travers, Glantz, & Coelen (1979) Natural study (n = 64)


(n= 57)

Centers C:A Ratio, group size, CG yrs education, child related training, education, physical environment Caregiver behaviors including management, social interaction; child aimless wandering Correlations Smaller group sizes = more teacher-child interaction, less child aimless wandering

Smaller C:A ratios = less time in child behavior management

More child-related education = more teacher-child interaction,

Scarr, Eisenberg, & Deater-Deckard (1994) 363 Child Care Centers C:A Ratio3, Group Size, CG1 Training in child dev & child care, CG1 educ, highest wage pd to a CG1 in the center, staff tunover ITERS, ECERS, APECP Pearson Correlations Highest CG1 wages was highly correlated w/ process measures of quality (ITERS/ECERS & Profile Score)

Lower C:A ratios3, more teacher education, and more teacher training were correlated w/ higher process measures of quality, however, less correlated w/ process quality criteria.

Stallings & Porter (1980) 303 Child-care homes, included sponsored, regulated, and unregulated homes Observed C:A ratio, Specific caregiver behaviors including teaches, plays, directs, converses, comforts, tends to physical needs, housekeeping, not involved Pearson correlations

Multiple regressions

Larger child:adult ratios associated with less caregiver teaching, playing with child, and facilitating child activities; larger child:adult ratios associated with more efforts to control child behavior. These relations were stronger when focal children were less than 35 months of age. Limited significant relations were found with caregiver education. The obtained associations indicated that less educated caregivers were more directive.
Stith & Davis (1984) 30 Employed moms, substitute CG1 unemployed moms Group Size Yarrow, Rubenstein & Pedersen’s (1975) infant environment observational scale Pearson Correlations Larger group sizesà less expression of positive affect & less contingency of responses to distress.
Vandell & Powers (1983) 53 Center Structural composite (C:A Ratio3 & toys accessible +CG1education+space allotment per child Positive & Negative behavior w/ adults, total adult-directed behavior ANOVA Better C:A Ratio3, higher CG1 education, & more toy availabilityà more likely than children in low to moderate quality care to interact w/ adults (positive behavior, positive vocalizations, total behavior)
Volling & Feagans (1995) 36 Center Group size

C:A ratio

Positive adult-child interaction

Nonsocial activity, positive peer interaction, negative peer interaction

Pearson correlations Smaller group sizes and C:A ratios related to children having more time in positive staff-child interactions and less time in nonsocial activities. Larger C:A ratios were related to more frequent negative interactions with peers.
aFull citations available in Reference Section

bProcess Quality Measure Acronyms are Alphabetized. AIS: Adult Involvement Scale; APECP: Assessment Profile for Early Childhood Programs; AQS: Attachment Q-Set; CIS: Caregiver Interaction Scale

ECERS: Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale; ECOI: Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale; FDCRS: Family Day Care Rating Scale; HOME: Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment ITERS: Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale; ORCE: Observational Record of the Caregiving Environment; TIS: Teacher Involvement Scale


2ECE=Early Childhood Education

3C:A Ratio: Child:Adult Ratio

4Exp: Experience

5CC: Child Care

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