Performance Improvement 2005. Regulation, Subsidy Receipt, and Provider Characteristics: What Predicts Quality in Child CARE Homes?


This study examined the links between regulation and subsidy receipt in the quality of child care homes, and care provider characteristics. The study conducted a survey on a stratified random sample of 2022 providers in four Midwestern states (Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas), and on-site observations in a subsample of homes (n=117) to assess quality of care. Survey data included information on: state subsidy policies, regulation, provider characteristics, participation in social services programs, and types of families and children served. Major findings included: (1) Regulation and subsidy receipt influence quality of care directly and indirectly through effects on provider characteristics. (2) Provider education levels were predictors of quality in the observed child care homes, even after controlling for other provider characteristics such as motivation, training, regulation and subsidy receipt. (3) Lower levels of regulation were related to lower quality of care. (4) Children receiving government subsidies received care from providers with lower levels of education. (5) Even after controlling for regulation, subsidy receipt, and provider characteristics, there were substantial differences across the four states in observed quality of care, with Missouri showing the highest quality.

PIC ID: 8149; Agency Sponsor: ACF-ACYF, Administration on Children, Youth and Families; Federal Contact: Martinez-Beck, Ivelisse, 202-690-7885; Performer: University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE 68101

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