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Perspectives on the child care search process in low-income, urban neighbourhoods in the United States

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Description:
This qualitative research study explored the child care search and selection process from the perspectives of families living in low-income, urban neighbourhoods in the United States. Findings based on interviews with 40 mothers and grandmothers caring for African American preschool-age children showed that child care searches began with referrals from trusted sources followed by site visits. Caregivers' assessments of a settings' environments and activities informed decisions to enrol their children. Barriers related to availability, accessibility, and affordability in participants' neighbourhoods, however, greatly constrained options. Previous experience with other child care providers also informed searches. State-designated quality ratings had little to no influence on the decision-making process. The findings demonstrate the potential challenges and complexities families face when seeking and selecting child care in low-income, urban communities. This work underscores the need for greater access to high-quality care in underserved neighbourhoods and for increases in family and neighbourhood-level supports. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Author(s):
Country:
United States

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