Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Parent perceptions of child care: Association among child care selection, satisfaction, and quality

Shu-Mei Lien, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The primary objective of this study is to investigate the relationship among parental child care selection, overall parental satisfaction, aspects of parental satisfaction, and observed child care quality. The data were analyzed using bivariate (Pearson and Spearman) correlations, multiple regressions, exploratory factory analysis (EFA), and one-way multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs). ^ Results indicated that parents with lower educational levels regard Similar Beliefs/Values, Caregiver Education/Training, Learning Activities, and Practical Concerns factors as more important than parents with higher educations. Parents with lower incomes are more likely to perceive Practical Concerns as an important factor for their child care choices. No significant difference on parental selection choice was found among parental employment statuses. Families with fewer people are more likely to identify Learning Activities and Practical Concerns as important factors, while families with more members are more likely to perceive Special Arrangement as an important factor. ^ The results also showed that both parental selection factors and aspects of satisfaction predicted child care quality as rated by trained outside observers, though parents’ global ratings of satisfaction were much higher than the observers’ ratings, as found in past studies. Interestingly, parental selection factors and aspects of satisfaction that focused on the child’s learning environment were positively correlated to Observed Quality, while parental selection factors related to their practical concerns such as program location or needs for a special arrangement were negatively correlated. Thus, helping parents to focus on the aspects of child care quality related to their child’s learning environment may influence their choices and perceptions, leading them to place their children in the kinds of higher quality environments that have been found to lead to better outcomes for children. ^

Subject Area

Education, Early Childhood|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Lien, Shu-Mei, "Parent perceptions of child care: Association among child care selection, satisfaction, and quality" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3316417.