Parent Involvement in Child Care Settings

Conceptual and Measurement Issues

Published in: Early child development and care, v. 176, no. 5, July 2006, p. [521]-538

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2006

by Gail L. Zellman, Michal Perlman

This paper discusses the conceptualization and measurement of Parent Child Care Involvement (PCCI) and questions whether PCCI should be included in high-stakes quality ratings. It presents data on several PCCI measures, including one used by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Parent Caregiver Relationship Scale (Elicker et al., 1997) and PCCI items from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale--Revised (ECERS-R). Across these measures parents uniformly describe child care providers as welcoming and supportive even when other quality measures reveal significant problems. Providers display similar positivity when reporting their own PCCI efforts. A new author-devised measure, Family-Provider Partnership, produces similar positivity bias. Nevertheless, Family-Provider Partnership scores were strongly associated with other measures of child care quality, including the ECERS-R Infant-Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS), ratios and staff credentials. Such relationships justify inclusion of PCCI in child care quality ratings. (Contains 1 endnote and 3 tables.)

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