Child care for children with and without disabilities: The provider, observer, and parent perspectives
Document Type Article
Published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly 21 (2006) 93–109. Copyright © 2006 Elsevier Inc. Used by permission. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2006.01.001
This three-phase study, part of a larger study conducted by the Midwest Child Care Research Consortium (MCCRC), investigated the characteristics of child care providers in inclusive and non-inclusive center-based classrooms and family child care homes, the observed quality of care in a subset of these programs, and families’ perceptions of quality and satisfaction with child care services. A telephone survey of 2022 randomly selected Midwestern providers, 36% of whom provided inclusive services, revealed that inclusive providers rated themselves higher on most quality-related indicators. Inclusion status was related to observed quality in family childcare homes (n = 132), with non-inclusive homes higher, while trends in the opposite direction were observed in preschool center-based classrooms (n = 112) but not in infant/toddler center-based classrooms (n = 105). Six percent of the 1325 parents surveyed reported parenting a child with a disability. These parents indicated less income, and more frequent changes in child care settings than other families, and reported the quality of their children's child care as good, particularly if center-based. Improved access to inclusive child care services and enhanced training opportunities related to serving children with disabilities and inclusion, especially for family child care providers, is recommended.