Parents as Decision-Makers

In his “Quality of Care from a Parent Perspective” research, Arthur Emlen found that flexibility from work, family, and child caregiver was directly associated with parents’ perceptions of the quality of care their child was receiving. Work and family balancing appears directly related to the quality of care children receive. Two Oregon studies deal with balancing work and family as related to child care. Desrosiers studied dependent care of flight attendants (PDF), and Elliot studied dependent care issues of employees in Eugene, Oregon.

The Oregon Partnership recognizes the critical role of parents in creating and maintaining a child care system that meets the needs of children and families. Throughout its history, the Partnership has worked to engage parents in research and policy-making. Effective strategies are captured in the publication, We Can’t Get There Without Them: Addressing the Barriers to Parent Participation in Building America’s Child Care System (PDF). The Parent Voices Project recruits, trains, and supports parents who serve on child care policy-making committees and councils.

Another parent-focused strategy aims to provide parents with empirical information on research-based indicators of quality for child care facilities in their communities. A paper (PDF) is available describing the rationale and recommending ways to implement a project to provide information on quality indicators to parents.

Parents are a primary source—sometimes the only source—of information about child care. Identifying questions that will elicit useful information that validly and reliably reflects parent perceptions is the focus of a current project. The Oregon Partnership facilitated a Consortium Residency Roundtable on constructing parent surveys, and a paper designed as a guide for anyone surveying parents is available through Research Connections.

Publications associated with parents as decision-makers and managers.