Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Human Development and Family Science

First Advisor

Erin Boyd-Soisson


Mothers display a variety of behaviors when engaging in the complicated child care selection process. Many mothers indicate that quality is one of the most important factors they think about when making child care decisions. Quality child care is hard to define, because numerous perspectives exist on quality child care which have been under-researched. The present study explores how mothers define high quality child care. Fifty-one mothers with children who attend day care centers and pregnant women completed questionnaires which asked questions related to their perspectives on high quality child care. Results showed that mothers emphasize safety, warmth of caregivers, and comfort level of children in their definitions of quality. Maternal definitions of quality child care differ from definitions of quality used by early childhood professionals.


Approved for Honors in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, Messiah College, 2007.