Parents' evaluations and quality improvement of infant-toddlers day-care centres

The important role of the parents' perspective in the definition and evaluation of the quality of day-care centres has been largely recognized since the seminal document issued by the European Commission Childcare network in 1991. However, with concern to the parents' evaluation of day-care centres several issues still remain unexplored. What are the main dimensions of the centre's quality perceived by the parents? How can the parents' point of view be integrated into an evaluation system aimed at improving the centre's quality? In order to investigate the first issue, we developed a questionnaire through which parents were induced to consider a variety of specific features of the service, the experience made in the service by their child, their own experience as parents, and their overall satisfaction. In a two-year assessment, the questionnaire was filled in by 3609 parents whose child attended an infant-toddler day-care centre in Rome. Six dimensions of parents' evaluation emerged. Two separate regressions analyses were performed in order to get the best predictors of the overall satisfaction in children and parents' experience. The factors "Children's social and cognitive experience" and "Parent's participation" emerged as the best predictors of satisfaction in children and parents' experience, respectively. With reference to the second issue, we designed a specific procedure to integrate the parents' judgments with the evaluations made by teachers and day-care centre managers within an evaluation system based on participation and aiming at the improvement of the centre quality.

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Contributo in atti di convegno
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18th EECERA Annual Conference, Stavanger, NK, 3 - 6 September 2008
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Tullia Musatti's picture
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