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Does Child-Care Quality Mediate Associations Between Type of Care and Development?
Article first published online: 3 SEP 2013
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2013
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 75, Issue 5, pages 1203–1217, October 2013
How to Cite
Abner, K. S., Gordon, R. A., Kaestner, R. and Korenman, S. (2013), Does Child-Care Quality Mediate Associations Between Type of Care and Development?. Journal of Marriage and Family, 75: 1203–1217. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12055
- Issue published online: 3 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 3 SEP 2013
- child care arrangements;
- child care quality;
- child development
Studies document that, on average, children cared for in centers, as compared to homes, have higher cognitive test scores but worse socioemotional and health outcomes. The authors assessed whether the quality of care received explains these associations. They considered multiple domains of child development—cognitive, socioemotional, and health—and examined whether mediation is greater when quality measures are better aligned with outcome domains. Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort, they found that children in centers have better cognitive skills and behavioral regulation than children in homes, but worse social competence and generally equivalent health (N = 1,550). They found little evidence that quality of child care, as measured by standard instruments (e.g., the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale—Revised), accounts for associations between type of care and child developmental outcomes.