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A consideration of caregiver age variables in day-care Settings

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The increasing demand for day-care services in the United States warrants a closer, more systematic examination of specific variables in day-care programming. With an emphasis on optimizing the day-care environment, observations and data from a variety of developmental disciplines are used to establish the significance of caregiver age/age-range as a plausible influence on child development and, hence, an important factor for consideration in day-care programming. Two conceivable pathways by which this variable may operate on child outcomes are outlined: (a)primary effects of providing young adult (preadolescent) role models, regular interaction with the elderly, and the simultaneous contrast of their attitudes, perspectives, and practices; and (b)secondary effects resulting from the enhancement or impairment of staff relations as a result of these contrasting styles. The marked absence of research relating caregiver or teacher characteristics, process variables, and outcomes for young children reinforces this topic and that of caregiver variables in general as a potentially productive field for further investigation, particularly in view of the growing impact of day care on American children.

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Correspondence to Joan I. Vondra.

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Vondra, J.I. A consideration of caregiver age variables in day-care Settings. Child Youth Care Forum 13, 102–115 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01141837

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  • Primary Effect
  • Role Model
  • Child Development
  • Child Outcome
  • American Child