Child care decision making: Understanding priorities and processes used by low-income families in Minnesota

Resource Type: Reports & Papers
Author(s): Forry, Nicole D.; Isner, Tabitha K.; Daneri, Paula; Tout, Kathryn
Date Issued: October, 2014
Description: Few studies have described parents' child care decision-making process, yet understanding how parents make child care choices is fundamental to developing effective services to promote the selection of high-quality care. This study used latent profile analysis to distinguish subgroups of low-income parents identified as having commonalities in the number of options, duration, and sources of information sought as part of their child care decision-making process. Study participants included 260 parents who participated in the baseline wave of the Minnesota Child Care Choices study, a longitudinal phone survey of welfare applicants. Two subgroups of parents were identified. The majority of parents (82%) made choices within 2 weeks and considered on average 2 arrangements. Fewer than half of these parents considered information from experts, public lists, or family members/friends when making a child care choice. The remaining 18% of the sample took on average 11 weeks to make a child care choice, considered on average 3 options, and relied more heavily on information from experts and family members/friends. Practice or Policy: Findings from this study have implications for the marketing of resource and referral counseling services, Quality Rating and Improvement Systems, and consumer education aimed at facilitating the selection of high-quality care. (author abstract)
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Journal Title: Early Education and Development
Volume Number: 25
Issue Number: 7
Page Range: 995-1015
Topics: Parents & Families > Selection Of Child Care & Early Education Arrangements
Country: United States
ISSN: 1556-6935 Online
1040-9289 Paper
Peer Reviewed: yes
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