Family child care is commonly used in the US by families, including by those receiving child care subsidies. Psychosocial influences upon the workforce and professional development participation of family child care providers (FCCPs) have implications for the investment of public dollars that aim to improve quality and stability of child care.
We examined psychosocial influences upon workforce and professional development participation of FCCPs. We hypothesized lower levels of psychosocial stress and higher levels of peer support would be associated with less consideration of exit. We hypothesized that those providers embracing a greater sense of themselves as ECE professionals and reporting the support of professional peers would have greater participation in professional development.
This study employed the use of administrative survey data in path modeling.
Multivariate analyses of survey data indicated that psychosocial stress had a significant, positive association with consideration of exit. In contrast, perceived peer support had a significant, negative association with consideration of exit. A stronger sense of identity as an early care and education professional had a significant, positive association with professional development participation as measured by training hours completed in the past year. The support of professional peers was not observed to have a significant association with professional development participation.
Results suggest the importance of considering psychosocial factors in planning workforce development and educational programs for FCCPs. This may include developing supports to help FCCPs cope with the psychosocial stress of care work, build professional identities, and connect with peer providers to promote stability and quality caregiving in the ECE workforce. We propose additional qualitative research aimed at understanding the context of FCC care as a mechanism for informing the development of these supports.
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The National Survey of Early Care and Education did not specifically ask home-based caregivers if they were licensed. Listed providers were those individuals on state and nationally generated lists of child care including licensed, regulated, license-exempt, or registered home-based providers. The estimate of unlisted providers was generated by household surveys. It includes caregivers receiving payment for the care of at least one child.
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This project was funded by the Child Care Research Scholars Grant Program of the Administration for Children and Families Office of Planning and Evaluation Research, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, grant number 90YE0135. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We also thank the Illinois Department of Human Services Bureau of Child Care and Development, the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, and the Child Care Resource Service/Child Care Resilience Program at the University of Illinois for their support of this project.
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Swartz, R.A., Wiley, A.R., A. Koziol, N. et al. Psychosocial Influences Upon the Workforce and Professional Development Participation of Family Child Care Providers. Child Youth Care Forum 45, 781–805 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-016-9353-2
- Family child care
- Early care and education workforce
- Professional development