Child and Youth Care Forum

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 225–242 | Cite as

A study of family day care providers: Attitudes toward regulation

  • Margaret K. Nelson
Symposium Provider Perspectives in Family Day Care: Implications for Regulation and Licensing


This study seeks to fill a gap in the existing literature concerning family day care by exploring the issue of regulation from the perspective of both regulated and unregulated providers. The study draws on data collected from questionnaires distributed to 235 regulated and 110 unregulated family day care providers, and interviews conducted with 30 regulated and 40 unregulated providers, in Vermont. The data from the two sets of questionnaires reveal significant differences in demographic variables, working conditions, and career orientations between the two groups. Regulated providers choose to comply with regulation because they perceive it to be their legal obligation and because they desire the benefits that are associated with doing so. The primary reasons given for failure to register among unregistered providers included a belief that it was not required of them and a belief that regulation conferred no benefits. Although many unregulated providers had only partial information about regulatory requirements, many of them were offering services in a manner that would enable them to become registered if this were their choice. The implications of the findings for regulatory strategies are discussed.


Care Provider Social Psychology Demographic Variable Primary Reason Regulatory Strategy 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret K. Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyMiddlebury CollegeMiddlebury

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