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Quality of toddler childcare -- Can it be assessed with questionnaires?

Although observational instruments are considered to be the gold standard for measuring toddler childcare quality, large-scale studies often have to rely on interviews or questionnaires. However, it remains unclear whether such reports can serve as reliable indicators for childcare quality. The present study used the ITERS and FCCERS to examine how far staff-reported and observed quality coincide in 65 centre-based and 47 family-based childcare facilities; moreover, data on 414 two-year-olds were taken from the German National Educational Panel Study to determine whether reported childcare quality predicts children's developmental status at the age of two years. Results indicated that up to 43% of the variance in toddler childcare quality could be explained by staff-reported quality via questionnaires. But with cross-sectional analysis, children's developmental status could not be explained sufficiently by reported quality. Results and implications for future research are discussed. (author abstract)
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