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Quality in family child care: A focus group study with Canadian providers

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Doherty, G. (2015), Quality in family child care: A focus group study with Canadian providers. Early childhood Education Journal, 43 (3): 157-167.
Doherty, Gillian
Publication Date: 
20 May 2015

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A substantial proportion of American, Canadian and English preschoolers regularly participate in family child care making its quality of vital importance for the children concerned, their parents, the school system and the society in which they live. This article discusses the seven key caregiver behaviors and physical space characteristics identified as essential for quality by 62 providers who participated in 12 focus groups across Canada, their views on what is required to support and enhance family child care, and the published research on the effectiveness of their suggested supports. In addition, the findings of a survey of 581 providers in different parts of England that also sought provider views about the physical space and caregiver behaviours essential for quality programs are identified (Fauth et al. 2011) and the significant concurrence between the opinions of the two groups discussed. The article ends with a discussion of the policy and practice implications that arise from the study's findings and some ideas on how best to move forward in assisting family child care providers to support children's development.