Child Care Quality: Does It Matter and Does It Need to be Improved? (Full Report). Table 2


Burchinal, Roberts, Nabors, & Bryant (1996) 79 12 mos ITERS Group Size, C:A Ratio3, training experience   MDI: (Cog)

SICD-R & CSBS: (Language Skills)

ITERS related to better cognitive development, language & communication skills better C:A Ratio3 related to higher Bayley scores, more advanced receptive language development & communication skills. Better Educated CGchildren higher on expressive lang

Better ProcessQualityà advanced cognitive development

Better Structural Qualityà advanced language development

Clarke-Stewart, Vandell, Burchinal, O’Brien, & McCartney (2000) 242 @ 15-m

248 @ 24-m

201 @ 36-m

15m – 36m ORCE


Group size, "points", CG education, specialized training, recent training Family income

Observed maternal sensitivity

Bayley MDI, Bracken School Readiness, Reynell language, mother & CG report of social competence, mother & CG report of behavior problems Controlling for income and sensitivity, better process quality (ORCE & CC-HOME) related to better cognitive scores, better language comprehension, and more cooperation. Caregiver education and training was associated with better cognitive and language scores, controlling for family income and education
Dunn (1993) 60 51.85 mos ECERS

Goals, strategies, & guide childs emotional development

Group size, C: A Ratio3, CG1 education, CG1 center exper4, CG1 field exper4, CG1 age Child Age, SES7, parental age & education, day care history CBI: (Soc& Intelligence)

PBQ: (Soc comp)

PSI; (Cog)

PPS (soc play)

CPS & POS (cog play)

Structural variables (CG1 w/ less experience in center)à children rated more sociable.

Struc & Process vars corr w/ c’s intelligence. HMR (controls: child age, DC6 hist, SES, parent age & education): higher quality (ECERS), CG1 child major, less exper4 in the centerà higher CBI intelligence

Dunn, Beach, & Kontos (1994) 60 51.85 mos ECERS

Language & reasoning envir

Physical envir & available learning activities

CG1 education training, certification, experience, C:A Ratio3, group size SES7 CBI: (Language)

PSI (Cognitive)

Achievement not related to DC6 quality

Higher quality DC6 (developmentally appropriate activities)à more advanced language

HMR controlling for SES7: DC6 quality (developmentally appropriate activities) predicted children language development

Children’s language development positively correlated quality, but not literacy related activities. HMR literacy environment predicted significant portion children’s language development controlling for SES7

Elicker, Fortner-Wood, & Noppe (1999) 41 14.8 mos FDCRS CG1 exper4 caring for infants & toddlers, group size, income   AQS: (Attachment)

Adult-Child IRS:



Smaller group size & smaller C:A Ratio3 predicted more infant-CG1 interactive involvement.

Higher global CC5 quality was related to better infant-CG1 attachment security. , but not interactive involvement

Goelman (1988) 105 CDC = 50.5







EOWPVT (Language)

Higher global quality in family day care (DCHERS) significantly predicted higher children’s PPVT and EOWPVT scores.
Hausfather, Toharia, LaRoche, & Engelsmann (1997) 155 55 mos ECERS


ECOS   SCS: (Soc Comp)

PBC: (Beh Probs)

Low quality DC6 significantly contributes to children’s anger & defiance. HMR: additive risk for aggressive behavior (early entry to DC6, low quality stress in parenting, males, stressful life events).

High qualityà no relation w/ behavior problems.

HMR: high quality, early attendance, favorable family circumstancesà children’s level of interest & participation

Quality of care mediates positive or negative effects of age of entry

Hestenes, Kontos, & Bryan (1993) 60 52 mos ECERS

Teacher Engagement

C:A Ratio3, Group size Gender


BSQ: (Emotional Expression, Temperament) MR: DC6 quality predicted measure of affect acting for temperament (controlling for SES7 & gender). In DC6 centers w/ more appropriate caregiving the children displayed more positive affect. Neither structural related to affect High level CG1 engagementà children had higher intensity positive affect. More low level CG1 engagementà children display more intense negative affect
Holloway, Reichhart-Erickson (1988) 55 53 mos Early Childhood Observation, Process Composite Class size, C:A Ratio3, # hrs substitute care SES7 SSPS (Soc Prob Solv) Children in high quality interaction w/ CGmore prosocial responses &mentioned more prosocial categories. In larger classes,children gave more antisocial responses & used more antisocial categories. Children in classes w/ larger C:A ratios3 spent less time in solitary play. Controlling for SES7, most still remained signficant.
Howes (1997)

Study 1

760 4.25 yrs CIS, AIS C:A Ratio3, group size, ECE2 training, CG1education   Language, Pre-Academic, Social Development CG1 w/ at least AA in ECEhigher PPVT-R scores, children in classes complying w/ C:A Ratiohigher prereading
Howes (1997)

Study 2

410   CIS, A IS, T. behs CG1 background in ECE2   Cognitive play, Peer play CG1 w/ BA or Child Development Associateà greater child language, play & most complex play w/ peers, most language activity

CG1 w/ BA ECEchildren engaged in most complex play w/ objects & more creative activities

Howes & Olenick (1986) 89 18, 24, 30, & 36 mos   Low qual (higher C:A Ratios3, no formally trained CG1, < 2 primary CG1   Compliance


High quality centersà children more compliant & less resistant, & children more likely to self-regulate. Low quality centers & at home, self-regulation increases w/ age

M.R.: for girls compliance best predicted by combination of high quality DC6, low life complexity, & low parental involvement. Task-resistance best predicted by combination of low quality DC6, high life complexity, & high parent involvement. CC5 Quality best predicted self-regulation in boys. Low qual care missing dev approp experiences to promote compliance & self-regulation

Howes & Smith (1995) 840 34.07 mos ECERS, ITERS, AIS, Attachment     Cognitive Activity Scale HMR: (1) positive social interact w/CG1, attachment, & play activity (2) ECERS or ITERS. Classroom quality did not result in sig R2 change. Qualityà indirect effect
Howes, & Stewart (1987) 55 20.2 mos Family Day Care Rating Scale, Adult Play w/ Child Scale C:A Ratio3 & Group Size Family Characteristics (nurturance & support, restrict & stress) Peer Play Scale

Play w/ Objects Scale

Girls: controlling for family characteristics (nurturance & support, restrict & stress), higher quality CChigher level play w/ peers, objects, & adults,

Boys: controlling for family characteristics: higher quality careà higher play w/ objects.

Howes, Phillips, & Whitebook (1992) 414 14-54 mos ECERS

Infant-Toddler Envir Rating Scale, Dev approp activ

C:A Ratio3, group size   AQS- (Attachment) Peer Play Scale (Soc Orient, Interact w/ peers) CG1 who practiced more appropriate caregivingà child more secure with CG1

CG1 engaged in more developmentally appropriate activitiesà children were more socially oriented w/ CG1

Regulatable quality on social competence mediated through process quality variables & thru childrens relationship w/ adults & peers.

Process mediated through children’s relationship w/ adults & peers rather than direct influence on peer competence

Kontos (1991) 138 53 mos Overall envir quality, COFAS, ECERS C:A Ratio3, Group Size, CG1 Training, Child Development Program Eval-Indicator check Child age

Child Care history

Language, Intelligence, Social, Behavior Problems Higher quality CCà poorer intelligence, & poorer language

HMR (child age, CC5 history controls): quality did not predict language or intellect, Family Background did. HMR (child age, CC5 history control): higher quality CC5 (CDPE-IC: structural measure)à children better socially adjusted, & more sociable

Kontos, & Wilcox-Herzog (1997) 114 51.7 mos CG1 Responsive Involvement

CG1 Verbal Stimulation

  Child Age Cognitive Competence

Social Competence

Controlling for child age, more CG1 involvementà lower cognitive competence, but not social competence even when controlling for age.

Check p.257

MR: More contact w/ CG1 & more CG1 involvementà higher social competence. Less contact w/ CG1 & more involvement in high yield activitiesà higher cognitive competence.

McCartney (1984) 166 36-68 mos DCEI, ECERS   Child Age, Parent as Educator Interview (values conformity, values social) PPVT-R, PLAI, ALI, Experimental Communication Task HMR: Controlling for child age, values conformity, & values social, higher total quality of center care scores (ECERS)à children had higher PPVT, PLAI, ALI scores & performed better on the communication task. Quality of DC6 à positive effect on language development.

Controlling for total # functional utterances by CG1 to child, family background & group care experience, more verbal interaction w/ CG higher PLAI, ALI scores & better performance on communication task.

McCartney, Scarr, Phillips, & Grajek (1985) 166 2 years ECERS, verbal interact w/ CG1 C:A Ratio3   PPVT-R & ALI: (Intellect, Lang)

CBI & PBQ: (Social Skills)

Intervention Center highest quality rating. Intervention Center higher language, IQ, & Social ratings than other centers.
McCartney, Scarr, Rocheleau, Phillips, & Abbott-Shim (1997) 718 Infant=14.7 mos

Toddler=27 mos

Preschool= 47.9 mos

ECERS, ITERS, CG1-C Interaction   Mothers education AQS & Separation-Reunion Quest: (Attachment) CBS Q-sort (Social Behavior, Behavior Problems; Harter: (Competence & Social Accept) Partial correlations, controlling for mom education, more CG1-C interaction related to more social bids (Toddlers & Preschoolers), more solitary play (Preschoolers) & fewer CG1 ratings of negative separation/reunion for Toddlers. HMR: CG1-C interactions not related to child outcomes
NICHD ECCRN (1999-a) 97




6 mos

15 mos

24 mos

36 mos

None C:A Ratio3, observed group size, CG1 training, CG1 education Income to needs, maternal education, concurr single –parent status, child gender, maternal sensitivity Bayley MDI

Bracken School Readiness

Reynell Dev Lang

CBCL, ASBI (Soc Beh)

Outcomes (cognitive, language, & social) better when children attended classes meeting recommended CA Ratio3 at 24 mos & CG1 training & CG1 education at 36 mos. More standards met, better school readiness, language comprehension, & less behavior problems at 36 mos

Older children more likely to be in classes meeting recommended standards.

Peisner-Feinberg, & Burchinal (1997) 757 M = 4.3 yrs ECERS, CIS, AIS, UCLA ECOF   Mothers education, ethnicity, & child gender PPVT-R, WJ-R (prereading, pre-math), CBI (Social skills) Controlling for child & family characteristics, the observed quality index & the STRS CG1-child closeness score related to better PPVT-R scores (both quality indices), better WJ-R prereading scores (individually, observed quality index), better CG1 ratings of child’s cognitive/attention skills on CBI (individually CG1 rating of closeness), and fewer behavior problems (individually, CG1 rating of closeness), & higher sociability ratings.

Higher quality CC5 à better language, preacademic, sociability, & fewer behavior problems

Phillips, McCartney, & Scarr (1987) 166 36-68 mos ECERS, DCEI C:A Ratio3, Directors years experience   CBI, PBQ: (Social dev) Higher overall qualityà higher social competence ratings. Better C:A Ratio higher social competence ratings, but lower social adjustment (anxious). More CG1-C interaction à better social competence ratings
Ruopp, Travers, Glantz, & Coelen, 1979 Natural Study = 64 centers

Experiment =

57 centers

3 & 4 yr olds Observations of staff-child interactions;

Observation of child behavior

C:A Ratio, group size, staff education, training Looked at changes in child performance over time as a function of systematic changes in ratio and staff training Preschool Inventory (PSI), Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-Revised) Children had larger gains on the PSI and the PPVT when groups were smaller. Centers with higher proportions of caregivers with child-related training had greater gains on the PSI.
Schliecker, White, & Jacobs (1991) 100 4 yrs ECERS   SES7 PPVT-R (Verbal) Controlling for SES7, higher center qualityà higher PPVT

Family Structure analyses: 2 parent families-Controlling for mom education, mom & dad age, & occupation prestige, children whose fathers have more prestigious occupations & are enrolled in high quality DC6 have higher PPVT-R scores. 1 parent families-Controlling for mom age, mom education, & occupational prestige, children whose mom were older & are enrolled in high quality D6 have higher PPVT-R scores.

Children w/ high vocabulary scores are in high quality care & come from highest SES7 levels. One parent families, children w/ high vocabulary scores are in high quality DC regardless of SES7.

Vernon-Feagans, Emanuel, & Blood (1997) 67 24 mos   Hi & Low quality defined by a composite of C:A ratio, group size, & CG training All middle income, dual earner, white households Sequenced Inventory of Communiction Development (SICD) Poor quality child care associated with poorer expressive language scores. Poorest scores were obtained when poor quality care coupled with chronic Otitis Media.
Volling, & Feagans (1995) 36 18-24 mos   C: A Ratio3, Group size Child’s Age, Age of entry, Hours/week in care IBQ: (Temp)

TBAQ & Vandell & Powers Quest:

(Soc Comp)

Controlling for child’s age & age of entry, higher C:A ratios3 predicted more nonsocial play and less positive adult interactions. Controlling for child’s age & hour/week in care, predicted more nonsocial play and less positive adult interactions.

Child’s temperament (social fear) interacts w/ quality of care. High quality care make act as a buffer for socially fearful children in positive peer interactions & nonsocial play w/ peers.


aFull references are available in reference section.

bQUALITY MEASURES ALPHABATIZED BY ACRONYM: COF: Child Observation Form; DCEI: Day Care Environment Interview; DCHERS: Day Care Home Environment Rating Scale; ECERS: Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale; ECOI: Early Childhood Observation Instrument; ECOS: Early Childhood Observation Scale; FDCRS: Family Day Care Rating Scale; ITERS: Infant-Toddler Environmental Scale

cCHILD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME MEASURES ALPHABATIZED BY ACRONYM: AQS-Attachment Q-Set; Adult-Child IRS: Howes & Stewart’s Adult-Child Involvement Rating Scale; ALI: Adaptive Language Inventory; BSQ: Behavior Style Questionnaire; CBI: Classroom Behavior Inventory-Preschool Form; CBS Q-Sort: Child Behavior Survey, Q-Sort version; CPS: Cognitive Play Scale; CSBS; EOWPVT: Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test; Harter: Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children; MDI: Mental Developmental Index; PBC: Preschool Behavior Checklist; PBQ: Preschool Behavior Questionnaire; PLAI: Preschool Language Assessment Instrument; POS: Play with Objects Scale; PPS: Peer Play Scale; PPVT-R: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised; PSI: Preschool Inventory-Revised; SCS: Social Competence Scale; SICD: Sequence Inventory of Communication Development; SSPS: Spivack & Shure’s Social Problem Solving Skills; TBAQ: Toddler Behavior Assessment Questionnaire

1CG: Caregiver, 2ECE: Early Childhood Education, 3C:A Ratio: Child:Adult Ratio, 4Exp: Experience, 5CC: Child Care, 6DC: Child Development, 7SES: Socioeconomic Status


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