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International Journal of Early Childhood

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 481–497 | Cite as

Parental Perceptions of Child Care Quality in Centre-Based and Home-Based Settings: Associations with External Quality Ratings

  • Joanne S. Lehrer
  • Lise Lemay
  • Nathalie Bigras
Original Article

Abstract

The current study examined how parental perceptions of child care quality were related to external quality ratings and considered how parental perceptions of quality varied according to child care context (home-based or centre-based settings). Parents of 179 4-year-old children who attended child care centres (n = 141) and home-based settings (n = 38) in Montreal, Quebec, as well as their educators, participated in the study. Parents were interviewed using the Child Care Satisfaction Rating Scale, a measure of parent perception of child care quality. The home-based and centre-based child care settings were evaluated by research assistants using the Quebec Educational Quality Observation Scale. Correlational analyses revealed significant associations between global satisfaction and quality scores, as well as subscale scores for parental and observational assessments of child care quality. In addition, Chi-square analyses revealed that parental satisfaction with the parent–educator relationship and with their child’s emotional well-being in child care was stronger for children in home-based settings than in centre-based care. This research provided empirical support for parents’ ability to discriminate quality child care. It is argued that quality assessment should take the perspectives of multiple stakeholders into account.

Keywords

Child care quality Parental perceptions of child care quality Home-based child care Centre-based child care 

Résumé

Cette étude examine si les perceptions des parents de la qualité du service de garde de leur enfant sont associées à l’évaluation externe de la qualité. L’étude vise aussi à identifier si la perception des parents de la qualité de leur service de garde varie en fonction du mode de garde (service de garde en milieu familial ou en installation). L’échantillon est composé de 179 parents d’enfants de 4 ans qui fréquentaient un service de garde en installation (n = 141) et en milieu familial (n = 38) à Montréal (Québec, Canada) ainsi que de leurs éducateurs. Les parents ont complété l’échelle de satisfaction du service de garde, une évaluation de la perception des parents de la qualité du service de garde fréquenté par leur enfant. Les services de garde ont aussi été observés à l’aide de l’Échelle d’observation de la qualité éducative, une grille québécoise d’observation de la qualité. Les analyses révèlent des corrélations significatives entre la satisfaction des éducateurs et les scores globaux d’observation de la qualité ainsi qu’entre des sous-échelles de la satisfaction des parents et de l’observation de la qualité. De plus, des analyses de chi carré révèlent que la satisfaction des parents au sujet de leur relation avec l’éducateur de leur enfant et du bien-être émotionnel de leur enfant au service de garde est plus élevée lorsque les enfants fréquentaient un service de garde en milieu familial qu’en installation. Cette recherche semble indiquer que les parents ont la capacité de discriminer la qualité d’un service de garde et que l’on doit s’assurer de mesurer le point de vue de plusieurs acteurs lorsqu’on souhaite évaluer la qualité d’un service de garde.

Resumen

La presente investigación examina cómo las percepciones parentales sobre la calidad de las guarderías están relacionadas con las evaluaciones de calidad externas. La investigación considera cómo las percepciones parentales de la calidad varían según el contexto de las guarderías (ubicadas en casa o en centros de cuidado). Padres y madres de 179 niños y niñas de 4 años que asisten a centros de cuido (n = 141) así como a guarderías en casa (n = 38) en Montréal, Québec, así como las y los educadores, participaron en la investigación. Las y los padres de familia fueron entrevistados por medio de la escala Childcare Satisfaction Rating Scale (Escala de Satisfacción de Centros de Cuidado Infantil), que mide la percepción sobre la calidad de los servicios de la guardería. Las guarderías ubicadas en la casa y en centros de cuidado fueron evaluadas por las y los asistentes de investigación por medio de la escala Quebec Educational Quality Observation Scale (Escala de Observación de la Calidad Educacional, Quebec). Los análisis correlacionados revelaron asociaciones significativas entre la satisfacción y la puntuación global de la calidad, así mismo, las sub escalas de evaluación parental y de evaluación por observación de la calidad de las guarderías. Los análisis de chi cuadrado revelan que la satisfacción parental con respecto a la relación con la o el educador y el bienestar emocional de las y los niños es más elevado en las y los niños que acuden a guarderías en casa. Esta investigación proporciona a las madres y los padres apoyo empírico que facilita la evaluación de la calidad de las guarderías. Se argumenta que la evaluación de la calidad de las guarderías debe tomar en cuenta las perspectivas de múltiples actores.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. We would also like to thank the research professionals and assistants, as well as the educators and parents, for their participation in the study. In addition, many thanks to Julie Lemire for her help with the manuscript and to Floryana Viquez for translating the abstract into Spanish. Preliminary findings were presented at the International Association for Training and Research in Family Education conference at the University of Patras, Greece, in May 2013.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département de didactiqueUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada

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