Skip to main content

How Well Can Family Childcare Providers Report on Preschoolers’ Motor Skill Competence?



Assessing children’s movement skill competence objectively is resource and time intensive. Family childcare providers (FCCPs) are with young children for most of a normal weekday and may have an understanding of their motor skill competence.


This study examined how well FCCPs can report on preschoolers’ motor skills.


Seventy-eight 3–5 year olds (53.1% girls) from 26 FCCPs participated. The Test of Gross Motor Development-2 assessed actual motor skill competence and a survey assessed preschoolers’ motor competence as reported by FCCPs. Bivariate correlations examined associations between actual and FCCPs’ proxy-report of preschoolers’ motor skill competence. Regression models tested the predictive power of FCCPs’ proxy-report on actual preschoolers’ motor skill competence, accounting for age and sex.


There were moderate significant correlations for locomotion (r = .30), object control (r = .38), and overall motor skill competence (r = .36). The regression models showed proxy report was statistically associated with preschoolers’ object control skills (β = .78, p = .011) and overall motor skills (β = .72, p = .022), but not locomotor skills (β = .52, p = .084). FCCPs’ proxy-report of preschoolers’ motor skill competence explained 20.9, and 20.1% of preschoolers’ variance in object control, and overall motor skill competence, respectively after adjusting for biological sex and age (increasing).


FCCPs may be used as an alternative source of information in reporting young children’s actual motor skill competence, at least for the object control domain. There is an opportunity for education of FCCPs regarding children’s locomotor skill development.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


Download references


This research was supported by the training grant “Illinois Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program (I-TOPP)” funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), under Award No. 2011-67001-30101. The lead author is currently supported by the training Grant T32DK007703 from National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Roger Figueroa.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The author declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Figueroa, R., Barnett, L., Estevan, I. et al. How Well Can Family Childcare Providers Report on Preschoolers’ Motor Skill Competence?. Child Youth Care Forum 48, 19–28 (2019).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Motor skill competence
  • Preschoolers
  • Family childcare
  • Perception