Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of



Dipti A. Dev

Date of this Version



Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume 48, Number 7S, 2016; Poster Abstracts S71


A U.S. government work.


Objective: To investigate childcare providers’ perspectives for communicating with parents to promote children’s nutrition and health.

Design, Setting, and Participants: In-person, semistructured interviews. Licensed center-based child care. Eighteenfull- time childcareproviders caring for children2-5 years old, 67% caring for children who pay with federal subsidy.

Outcome Measures and Analysis: Participants were selected using maximum variation purposive sampling. Interviews were conducted until saturation was achieved. NVivo, thematic analysis used to code and identify themes and meta-themes regarding providers' perspectives for parent communication.

Results: Two meta-themes emerged from providers’ responses: barriers to communication, and strategies to communication. Barriers to communication include: parents are too busy to talk, parents prioritize food concerns over nutrition, parents allow unhealthy foods, providers are unsure about communicating, and providers weren’t sure parents were receptive to nutrition education materials. Five strategies were identified for communication and building bridges between providers and parents: ecognize the benefits of engaging and educating parents about nutrition to promote health; everage policy to communicate positively and avoid conflict with parents; implement center-level practices to reinforce policy; build partnerships with parents through education; foster a respectful relationship between providers and parents.

Conclusions and Implications: Policy and center strategies were identified for fostering a respectful relationship and building bridges between providers and parents to promote child health and nutrition.

Funding: Administration for Children and Families Office of Planning and Evaluation Research, Illinois Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program (I-TOPP)