This study examined relationships between behaviors toward children and a variety of caregiver characteristics—formal education, child-oriented attitudes, satisfaction with child care employment, and commitment to the child care field as a career. Detailed narrative descriptions of the behavior of 37 center-based caregivers responsible for groups of three- to five-year-olds were collected and then coded according to the Prescott, Jones, and Kritchevsky (1967) observational system. Caregivers also answered attitude and job satisfaction questionnaires and provided information about their educational background and child-related preparation. Overall findings indicated that, for the most part, caregiver actions stressed “caretaking” as opposed to “educational” functions. However, variations in behavior were related to caregiver characteristics. In contrast to previous research, higher education, as well as child-related preparation, was associated with several qualities of caregiver behavior—decreases in restriction and increases in encouragement, development of children's verbal skills, and the use of indirect forms of guidance. Education was positively associated with caregiver commitment to child care as a career. Also, career commitment, child-oriented attitudes, job satisfaction, and stimulating but nondirective behaviors toward children were positively correlated with one another. Results are discussed in relation to social policies concerning the preparation and training of child care professionals.
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Berk, L.E. Relationship of caregiver education to child-oriented attitudes, job satisfaction, and behaviors toward children. Child Youth Care Forum 14, 103–129 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01113405
- Child Care
- Educational Background
- Satisfaction Questionnaire
- Verbal Skill
- Observational System