Community Child Care Research Project

Directors: James Elicker, associate professor and principal investigator, Department of Child Development and Family Studies

Susan Kontos (1949-2003), professor and original principal investigator, Department of Child Development and Family Studies

Staff: Carolyn Clawson, research associate and project coordinator (2004-2005)
Demetra Evangelou, research associate and project coordinator (2001-2003)

Research Assistants: Soo-Young Hong, Rebecca Sero Lynn, Candace Olmstead, Kay Schurr

Funding: Child Care Bureau in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Total Direct Costs: $422,976

Term of Project: September 2001-September 2004

Description: The research used existing, qualitative, and quantitative data to describe and compare the “child care landscapes” in four diverse Indiana communities, identifying the community-level variables that were most strongly associated with the type and quality of care selected by working-poor families. In addition, linkages between child care characteristics, and child development and parental work outcomes were determined.

During the first phase, 24 community key informants were interviewed, eight parent focus groups were conducted, and existing community data was analyzed to describe child care utilization and identify important community child care context variables for low-income families.

Then, during the second phase, 300 working-poor families whose young children are in out-of-home child care (75 in each community; approximately split between infant/toddlers and preschoolers) and their child care providers in four Indiana communities were assessed, including rigorous measurements of child care structural and process quality, child development outcomes, and parent.

The third, and final, phase involved data analysis and generating reports based on the results and their policy implications.

More information about the project is available at the Community Child Care Research Project Web site.

Evidence of Impact: The study provides comprehensive data on the child care experiences and outcomes of more than 300 low-income, working families in Indiana. The results give a detailed picture of the types and quality of child care used by these families. In addition, the associations between child care quality and child development and parent employment outcomes are analyzed. Learn more about the study’s impact by reading the Community Child Care Research Project Final Report.