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Defining and measuring quality in home-based care settings

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Goodson, Barbara Dillon & Layzer, Jean I
Publication Date: 
1 Dec 2010



Fifty-seven percent of children under age six who are in non-parental care are cared for in a home, whether that of a relative or a non-relative provider. Just as with center-based settings, developing measures that accurately assess quality in home-based settings is vital to assuring positive child outcomes. To date, there is a paucity of evidence about which aspects of family child care are predictive of children’s short-term and long-term cognitive, social, and academic outcomes and therefore which aspects of family child care environments should be included in a measure of quality of care. When designing and evaluating quality measures for home-based settings, the unique characteristics and variability of home-based care including mixed age groups, supports for parents, and different provider characteristics, must be considered. The continuing expansion in home-based care quality measures must keep up with the rapidly-growing research base on aspects of early development that appear to be linked to children’s long-term social and academic success.