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 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.)

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.